As you can see, this isn’t the continuation of my little sister tale. Although I had promised myself that I wouldn’t deviate from it until it was done, I have to make an exception today. Today, is after all, my one special day a year.
This is my shameless little birthday plug. August 19 is, of course, my birthday. That means that I was born during the summer, six months after my parents eloped. Of course, that’s not something my parents talk about. And I guess it’s not the point anyway. The point is that it’s my birthday.
Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Haaaappy biiirthdaaay deeeaaar meeeeeeee! Happy birthday to me!
For those of you interested in such useless information, I am now 27. I know, I know, I’m still technically part of the genXers but too old to get away with the stereotype. I will state right here and right now that I never fit the stereotype — angst and indecision were never my style. And I hate the label “generation X,” that makes me sound so meaningless, so disposable. I particularly hate the fact that I never had the opportunity or the luxury of being able to laze around and let my hair get all dirty and do nothing for days and days. How dare life be so unfair, so freakin’ unfair that I didn’t get the opportunity to be a bum.
In case you’ve missed it, that’s sarcasm dripping from those words.
So here I am, in my late twenties, and I haven’t accomplished one single thing I had intended as a teenager. As much as I hate to admit it now, I expected to be married by now. Married with children. (And I cringe at the thought of it now.) I definitely thought I’d have my master’s degree by now. And let’s not forget the fabulous job I envisioned.
Oh those teenage rose-colored fantasies!
Things happened. Life happened. And my oh-so-perfect plan for the rest of my life took several detours. Several very long, very important detours. Detours that have landed me where I am now. And where I am is somewhere that is very far from where I expected to be.
And there’s a part of me that’s disappointed.
But then again, I’m a much better person than I ever expected to be. It’s odd, really, but I never gave any thought to the sort of person I would be. I thought long and hard on the things I would have. What kind of car, what kind of job, what kind of husband (go ahead, laugh, you know you want to), what sort of decorations would adorn my perfect little life. But I never thought about what kind of person I would turn out to be. I never thought about whether or not I would be strong or independent or submissive or open-minded or stupid or tame. It never occurred to me that I would need to develop character and self-esteem and strength and a backbone. I never thought that I would one day think that a social conscience was more important than a successful career. I never thought that one day I would learn to like myself, truly like myself enough that being alone does not mean being lonely.
I think I turned out okay. All things considered, I think that my life has turned out okay. I am very happy with a great many things. My life isn’t perfect, but perfection would be boring. And if I lived a perfect life I would be a less interesting person surrounded by dull people leading equally dull lives.
So celebrate with me on my birthday. FYI, my favorite drinks are raspberry margaritas and banana daiquiris, but any flavor margarita will do. Take a drink and toast to my less-than-perfect life that has helped me create these sites, among other things. Wish me a happy birthday, a good 27th year on Earth, and lots and lots of luck.