Those of you who read my previous post may have noticed that today is my birthday. 34 today. In celebration, my tribute to Einstein's famous birthday photo.
So often I've read or heard stories of people getting older, and feeling it badly on their birthday, suddenly realising their life is not what they expected. I thought I would not be so susceptible to such an experience, as I'm not so attached to age numbers, or expectations, or regrets, generally. But today, it's my turn for 'one of those' birthdays.
In my plan for my life, I was going to be living in Europe by now. I'm sad that I'm not, and that I'm still living in a town I do not like at all. It snowballed from there.
When I was young, everyone was so sure that I was going to have a special life, a big life. I was sure that great things were in my destiny. Usually I do think of my life as pretty special and great. But today, suddenly the days when the world was my oyster and my whole life was ahead of me have dissolved - and what do I have to show for it? I have no security. I have more debt than assets. I depend on other people more than I'd like. It's not looking likely that I am ever going to have a house of my own. I never found a man to have a baby with. I never had a 'career,' a 'real job.' I'm so afraid of being alone, I'm afraid of my health getting worse or my back going again. I feel so badly done by by people who have made me promises and then let me down. I'm wishing that I'd never given my heart away to that man who shattered it. I wish I had those years back that I devoted to him.
This is not really 'me.' Usually I live in the moment, have no time for regrets, and count my blessings with awe and gratitude. Surely, it's the most normal thing in the world to have your life turn out not like you planned or imagined it. Well, maybe it's just part of life to have a birthday like this at some stage.
Many things have changed the course of my life over time. Some of it was not by choice, such as all the limitations imposed by my disabilities. Sometimes I'm pretty philosophical about that. Sometimes I'm glad that my life opened up in different directions. Occasionally I'm just angry about the things I missed out on. Some things were my own choices - I've made some pretty unorthodox ones along the way. Here, I'm proud to say that my regrets are few.
What it all comes down to, all the what ifs and choices and consequences, is that at some point, I'm not sure I could pinpoint exactly when, I decided to devote my life to the Goddess. I've lived my life doing everything She had asked of me. I have never shirked and rarely hesitated. I know that She is happy with me, and what I have done with my life. I see myself through Her eyes and I am so proud.
This is the burning heart of my faith, the light to follow when all this dark stuff is going on in my head. This is how I know that the regrets I am feeling now is not Truth. This is how I will keep going ahead into the next year, never knowing what the next day or moment will command of me.
There has been a lot of crying this past day. My eyes are swollen and the tender spots where I have rubbed away too many tears burn. There was also a tea party, thanks to my lovely Nana, who seems to get more excited about my birthdays than I do. There was real tea made in a teapot and drunk from antique cups and saucers. There was smoked salmon, there was a cake and there were flowers. Most thrilling of all, this wonderful tablecloth that Nana embroidered herself before she was married, and gave me as a gift today. She keeps apologising that her doilies and such are not made from real linen, because there was a war on then, and you couldn't get linen. And she doesn't mind that I'm going to dye it maroon and possibly one day cut it up to make something else.
I'm also ashamed of myself for all this whinging and carrying on. How can I complain when I have been so blessed? I don't know, but it seems that this is part of it, that it's just normal to have days like this sometimes.
As Majik Faerie tells me, it is okay, and it's okay to feel that it's not okay. Sometimes.