It is 12:18 am. It is my birthday. I am entering my 37th year of life. Looking back at myself over the last 36 years I don’t think my younger self would have guessed as to where I would be on my 37th birthday. And when I say “where I would be” I don’t mean it in a literal sense, but figuratively, encompassing “what I am doing, who am I with, and what have I accomplished”.
My 14 year old self wanted to move to California at the ripe old age of 18 (or was it 16?) with my best friend at the time and become an actress… but not before meeting the man of my dreams, or even better a member of the New Kids on the Block. I had no passion for acting, never aspired to be in a play, but that was my aspiration as a 14 year old kid. At 14, I didn’t even think of where I would be when I was 37… it seemed to be WAY too far in the future.
At the age of 17 I didn’t give a shit where I would be at 37. I had no direction, no goals and was failing out of college. Smoking, drinking and hanging with my friends was my #1 priority. I spent my days playing cards in the cafeteria, and my nights with my loser of a boyfriend who was not only 7 years my senior, but also my college rugby coach (and at the time I didn’t understand why my dad didn’t like him).
Fast forwarding to my mid-twenties, I was on a path to please everyone but myself. If you would have asked me where I would be at 37 years old I probably would have said whatever everyone was telling me I SHOULD be. I would have probably said I would be a doctor, a medical researcher, or whatever other profession was acceptable to my dad and my boyfriend (and future ex-husband) at the time. I had no idea what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, so I just took advice from the people who gave it to me. I thought that THEY knew what was best for me. That seemed to be a theme that would be repeated until today. My 37th birthday.
Do you really want to know where I am today?
I am a 37 year old recently separated mother of two. I am 100% supported by my ex-husband and have NO idea what I want to do with my life. I have spent the last almost 6 years, raising my two boys and (until recently) supporting my husband’s career. My mother died 2 years ago of a horrible illness, my Dad is remarried and my sisters and I barely speak. Not because we don’t love each other, or care, we just have all been so busy with our own lives, families and picking up the pieces left after being devastated by our mother’s death. And the kicker you ask? I only FINALLY quit smoking FOR GOOD (and I say it with surprising confidence) ONE WEEK AGO. I have been a secret smoker for 20 years!
The funny thing is… I am sublimely happy. I have decided to take control of my life from this point forward… with the help of Tony Robbins, super self-help guru. I have decided to stop blaming others for my circumstances, taking control and not making the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Two years ago I started to write this blog. It was a blog about achieving balance in my life, with food and exercise. As much as I have grown in the last two years, I do not believe I have any more balance in my life then I did when I started writing the blog. I am much more aware of how to achieve balance but I haven’t quite gotten it yet. I think it’s because I have a belief that I CANNOT do that. I cannot have balance… and if I were to achieve balance, health and happiness, I WOULD DIE.
So from now, until my 40th birthday I will be on a quest. A quest for change. A quest for balance. A quest for control over my own life. But this time I believe it and I have no choice but to achieve it. My children depend on me. And if I fail yet again, I will never forgive myself. I know what I need to do.
I am not going to make any bold statements until I can back them up (if you don’t count the previous paragraph). At this point I have no idea where I am going and/or how I am going to get there… All I can tell you is that this is a declaration of change. To myself, and the rest of the world… Stay tuned as I will take you along on this journey with me. But I still haven’t gotten to the part in the book that tells me how to do it.
Epilogue (or note or something)
After re-reading this post I am super scared to press the “publish” button. Why make this public? I could just write in a journal. I don’t want to fail yet again and make a public fool out of myself. Reality hurts sometimes, but I need to accept where I am to make real change. And by making the whole thing public I can help others realize they are in control of their own lives as well, no matter how bad they think it is. So here goes nothing…