Here I am at 33. I have some thoughts that have been swirling around in my head all day today, on what has been a very quiet birthday. I'm not sure I can even put them into words, exactly, but I wanted to share them with you after a very beautiful conversation I had last night with one of my dearest friends.
When I turned 30, I was in a very confident place. My children were six and two, and I was very comfortable in my role as a leader among my circle of acquaintance. Things were comfortable at that time. My children were in a very good play place; I had energy and time for a fairly prolific creative life. There was stress ... there always is, especially when you are a fairly high strung person. But mostly, I was in a great place then. I really felt confident, sure, and open to the world.
This year, I'm in a different place. I feel quiet, and maybe a little bit vulnerable. I'm not depressed, but just in a place that feels transitional. I think that I had an idea that by the time I was 35, I would magically be a different person, someone who had things all figured out. And now I'm closer to 35 than to 30, and I know I don't have it all figured out -- nor will I in two years. Though my youngest child is two tomorrow, I don't feel so certain in my motherhood as I did the last time I had a two-year-old. Perhaps it's my oldest, turning nine this spring, who is navigating new social waters. Perhaps it's a feeling of straddling two different worlds -- that of babies, and that of an older elementary-aged child, and not sure where I belong. I'm feeling a lack of community, it's true: the friends I was closest to three years ago aren't even in my life enough to have called me for my birthday this year. And that's not bad -- it's different. I'm wading through change here, at 33.
Someone suggested to me recently that I must be in a period of intake, and I think that is pretty accurate. I feel like I'm quietly absorbing a lot of what is around me right now, but not putting a lot out. It's a different place for me; I'm used to doing a lot, and being a lot. Surrender is never very easy for me, but I know that it's the path that brings the most peace. So I'm working on it.
And I guess that's where I am on this quiet thirty-third birthday of mine. In a thoughtful, seeking, slightly introverted place. Which is just where I need to be.
Thanks for walking along with me. :)