Friday, August 28, 2009

Four Decades to Self Discovery

Today is my daughter's 21st birthday and it got me to thinking about my own life a bit.

I was born in the Fall of 61, in a small town in Alabama. The youngest of seven kids. Blond hair, green eyes, fair skin... and shy. JFK was president, the Viet Nam War was in its 2nd year, race riots were breaking out, we put the 1st man on the moon, and gas... was 27 cents a gallon. Or at least, that's how I think it was.

In a few months I will be 48 yrs old. 48 yrs! What have I accomplished in all that time? What have I learned?

If anything... over the years I have discovered that it never is the perfect package but you make do with the gifts you're given, even if you sometimes do want to trade them in or take them back.

I married two weeks before my 17th birthday. Had 4 kids by the age of 26. Wow, huh? Who does that so early in life? Needless to say, there was no high-school graduation or college time for me (something I regret) but that was my own choice. My greatest dream was to be a wife and mother. To have a house that I could decorate and call my own, a husband that thought of me as his absolute reason for living, and kids running around happy and well behaved. At the time, I had no doubt in my mind that that is how it would be. I would make it so.

Ahhh, if reality was made of dreams and wishes...

I became a wife. I became a mother. S
ince then, three of my children have married and now have kids of their own... and I am now a grandmother.

Though none of the above turned out as I had envisioned it... I am still a simple woman with simple dreams... and dream, I do.

On a footnote...
I have to say that my 40-something face seems to fit me better than any face I have previously worn. These past eight years have been the hardest and most difficult, and some I thought I wouldn't even make it through... but I seem to have discovered ME within that time. It took 40 long years... but it finally started happening.

Now... what I do with that long awaited knowledge... I guess time will tell.



RoamWithAView said...

Its nice to finally reach the point of enlightenment isnt it? I applaud you and am proud that you are who you are.

Life is just life and we deal with it. All the lil quirky turns it gives us.

Widow in the Middle said...

I would like to hear more of your perspective about life and what you have learned, especially over the last eight years. You have a very refreshing writing style and insight. I've been enjoying your posts.

Rainysoul said...

Isn't it weird how "old" always looks different depending on where you are. I remember as a teen thinking that 30 was OLD. And when I turned 30 I thought, "I'm not old, now 50...that's old!"...couple more years I'll be 40, and I'm sure that will change again. Sometimes I miss the innocence of youth, and I miss having no responsibility. The parents took care of the food, and the house, and the lights always just came on...and now I have to worry about all those things. But I don't miss being young...just trying to stay young at heart (I know, I hate that phrase too).

Thanks for visiting my blog, I like yours. :)

Kerree said...

I had 4 by the time I was 28 so you beat me by 2 years. But I never wanted to be married with children. It just worked out that way. Well the marriage part didn't work but I'm quite happy with the children. I dreaded turning 30 for a year beforehand but when I did turn 30 it wasn't even a big deal. Now I'm not too worried about turning 40. Older and wiser and all that hey?

erin said...

Hi, I really enjoyed reading your story. It's also interesting that you grew up near me. My dream was also to be a wife and mother. Well, things also did not turn out like I planned. Life is full of surprises and I've learned to enjoy that.

Joey said...

First off, awesome heading.

Second off, awesome post.

Don't think you haven't accomplished anything. I've seen people barely able to maintain 1 kid, let alone 4. and that fact that you've raised them to adults is an accomplishment as well.

the face you have should always fit, because its nothing but what you've made for yourself

2busy said...

I didn't feel like I knew myself until my late 30's. I think it is just an age where we fell less doubt about our actions and more self confident.

4evernite said...

Roam, life surely does have some quirky turns. :-)

Widow, thank you for your sweet words. You made me smile :-)

Rainy, I entirely agree. The "no responsibility" days are definitely missed. Hopefully we can both "stay young at heart" :-)

Kerree, Older? yes. Wiser? I guess. lol.

Erin, some surprises in life ARE joyful. I look forward to more of those :-)

Joey, you are wise beyond your years. Thank you so much for the comment.

2busy, good to know I'm not in the boat alone :-) Thanks for stopping by.