Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Now What?

It's probably just hormones. 

At least that's what I tell myself after, yet another, early-morning-under-the-blankets-cry-fest.  I can look forward to feeling this way for at least one painful week out of every month until I reach menopause. Oh joy.

But as much as I would like to blame my recent attitude on my period, I have to acknowledge the emotional distress surrounding my upcoming birthday.  I never thought I'd be one of those people that worry about aging.  After all, I should be gracious and thankful and optimistic about entering a fresh decade.  And I am.  I do recognize how lucky I am to be alive. I am healthy (relatively), and I've got a great family.  But no matter how hard I try to shake this- I can't pretend that I'm not experiencing a massive influx of emotions.  Feelings that are so intense, and so varied that they run the gamut from imposing anxiety to monumental joy.  This dramatic polarization of emotion has started to scare me, and I've really been at a loss for how to deal with it.

But something hit me last night.  It was a weird moment because I wasn't doing anything particularly inspiring.  I was scrambling an egg, actually.  I was suddenly struck by how violent the whole scrambling process is.  First you bang the egg on a hard surface, crack it, split it wide open- spilling its contents into a fiery hot pan, then you beat and whip and scrape the poor egg until it reaches its perfect, bouncy, fluffy consistency.  I thought about how an egg (that hasn't been fertilized) has 2 fates.  It can either stay in its shell where it's safe until it starts to turn and eventually rots, or it can be cracked wide open- exposing itself to endless and extraordinary culinary possibilities.  I don't want to turn and rot having never been opened.  I don't want my life to be safe and preserved in a shell.

I'm starting to think that these desperate emotions I've been feeling lately are just passion and eagerness in disguise.  They have been bubbling under the surface for years, and I've tried to shush them by always having a plan.  "By the time I'm 30, I will get my degree, get married, buy a house, and have 3 kids."  Literally, these were the goals I wrote in my journal when I turned 20.  And what a miracle that I was able to accomplish each one.  I'm so happy and thankful for that.  But my 30th birthday is coming up in two weeks, carrying with it a gigantic, bold-printed banner that says, "Yay!  You're 30!  NOW WHAT?"

For starters, I'm going to let this new decade crack me open.  I'm going to stop being so rigid and safe and I'm going to let life put me on the fire and beat me up a little, hopefully resulting in an improved and more creative form of myself.

I am starting to come to terms with the fact that I'm going to age.  If I'm not aging, I'm dead.  I might as well usher in the crows feet honesty, organically, and with major determination to be exactly the person I'm intended to be.

And I am thankful to be alive.


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