In exactly one month, I’ll be thirty-eight years old. That’s hard to believe considering how clearly I remember eighteen. What used to feel like inching towards forty now feels like I’m racing towards it full speed ahead. When did so much time pass?
Every year around my birthday, I swing from the highs of birthday lunches, dinners, flowers, gifts, and joy to the lows of contemplation, fear and shock. I broadcast the fact of my birthday, but I broadcast equally my horror where it is concerned. Right now, I’m feeling the contemplation come more heavily, earlier in the process.
Thirty-eight sounds old. But I don’t feel old. I feel like this.
I love this picture. First of all, I think I was a really cute kid. I’ll spare you the wide array of baby photos of myself that I just adore. This one, though, taken when I was three, captures me. I was a kid who often sat quietly doing my own thing, totally unaware that anyone was watching. I never cared much for what I wore. I often had messy hair. I remember laughing a ton and reading even more. And I remember that my mind worked constantly, thinking big and thinking of what comes next. I don’t know what I was planning right in this moment, but I see a plan in my eyes. I see a patience for the right opportunity to make my move. It captures who I was then and who I think I will always be.
I don’t see myself as thirty-eight years old. I’m just a very mature three.