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stand up and be counted

I am lunching on a slab of chocolate. A slab! Morevor one containing strawberries and cookies and meringue. I'm not sure that can be topped.

For most of my life (thanks to starting and finishing school earlier than my peers) I have been the youngest, feeling one step behind everyone, out of sync as though I was perpetually racing ahead to catch up with the longer legged. I'd define most of my twenties as knowing exactly what I wanted to do but not being old enough to do it (case in point, it is not possible to start to train as a psychotherapist until you're at least 25). My early to mid-twenties were my meanwhile years, my treading water years. An ungainly growing-out, in-between stage.

And even as I aged, even as I finally became old enough to embrace my vocation it didn't feel real enough. Sure, rationally I knew I was older but the gift of those years didn't sink in. I might have been 26 but I still felt 20 - an impostor trying to pass myself as older than I was, trying to gatecrash, to sneak into the good stuff while waiting for my life to be allowed to really start.

When asked how old I was I would always have to pause, think about it much in the same way that I have to pause and calculate how many years Z and I have been together. I lose track of time, its passing feels dreamlike, I keep having to pause and reorient myself in its flow as I would in the streets of an unkown city or a place glimpsed through the windows of a car.

But now that I am 28, I finally feel 28. As though I don this age like a tailored dress.

It's appropriate enough, it's a Saturn return year and I'm finally where I want to be anchored to the earth by love and responsibility. I am a mother and an apprentice, and I love both things. But more than that I finally have a feeling of belonging, of having worked hard to get here and of doing good work and feeling worthy of respect of being recognised for my achievements.

I am glad to be here. I have travelled a long way. I am no longer the waif or the changeling, the alien or the impostor. I suspect I will always be an eccentric and outsider of sorts (this is fine, I think I would find normalcy a dissapointing experience) but at long last I belong to my true self and my life, the person I am meant to be and the life I am meant to lead are greeting each other rapturously like old friends meeting, like lovers shrugging off adversity and all the years they lost and wasted treading in space.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
sera_squeak
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday!

I think in some ways I would have liked to have stopped at 27 for a while, however time moves on as do we all.

I find myself looking forward to 30 though!
876454332
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
Is your slab of chocolate with strawberries and meringue from Hotel Chocolat? I lost my Hotel Chocolat virginity last week and am hooked!

Happy birthday :) Miss you lots.
haggisthesecond
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
happy happy birthday from one who is lunching on low-fat bean, couscous and red pepper salad. It's healthy and good, but I'd probably commit homicide for a slab of chocolate such as you describe right now. :)
ex_humanfema327
Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
now you made me want bean cousous and red pepper salad! goddammit!
meepettemu
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Many happy days to you. Especially today :o)
sleeperesque
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!

You seem so much wiser than the average 28 year old.

Congratulations are also in order for the things you have managed to acheive thus far!!
guihong
Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!

Many, many more wonderful days ahead for you and your family. I wish I had been as wise as you are at the same age.

gui
prophetessamy
Jul. 22nd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a progressed lunar return gone right!
strange_powers
Jul. 23rd, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
Happy birthday for yesterday! You are definitely winning.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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