Up until college I wrote a journal every day. Starting at the tender age of 8 I dutifully recorded my days, ‘washed hair, played with Sooty (the unfortunately racist named cat), the highlights ‘got a typewriter for Christmas, really wanted Operation’, and the low moments ‘I want to run away but I only have 27p. I don’t think its enough. Probably need at least a pound’). If I had imagined what I’d be writing about at 40, it probably would have involved fame. Or fortune. Definitely infamy. Certainly love. I probably would be too busy dashing around town in my floor length black cloak (I always was dramatic) being too important to actually write. Maybe there would be ‘learning moments’ and I’d definitely have done a lot and would be a riveting person.I would be an author, a forensic scientist, a mother and that’s before I even included my Grand Slam tennis championships. For someone with very little confidence and little clear talent in any direction, I sure didn’t let it intrude on my fantasies.
Of course if my parents were any type of guide, grunting when you sat down and looking forward to ‘a nice cup of tea’ might feature somewhere at 40.. but probably not for many many years.
My 18 year old self didn’t think that 40 would have involved being single and childless. Or living in a rented apartment.Or making really bad decisions over and over again. Getting tattoos at 38. Learning to ride a motorcycle. Buying a gun. Being rich and then poor. Dating more men than she’s ever admit to her mother and sleeping with an embarrassing number of them. Moving to another country and deciding to stay. And sadly, thinking that skinny jeans would look better on me in 2012 than they did in 1982.
So maybe this is the year, age 40 1/2, to be bold, restart that journal and maybe figure out how I ended up here and where I might be going. I’m hopeful the answer is out there.