Friday, January 26, 2007

by default

There is an old picture that is one of my favorites. My brother, Oren is celebrating his birthday. He has a beautifully decorated cake in front of him. Then there's me, three or four years old, grabbing for his candles...his wish...while my mother tries to pull me back. And Oren is whining. With a fist in mid air.

I was always wishing on someone else's cake...

It started a couple of weeks ago. Kim and I sat in her living room and watched a photo montage of her husband. Pictures of him as a child and a man. Pictures of him with a family that seemed straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Pictures of him with friends and acquaintances, drinking beer. Smiling.

"This doesn't depress you?" I ask Kim.

"This is what I'm sayin'..." she answers.

I look over at her and she is fifteen again. I want to hug her and thank her for being my friend twelve years later. Kim's birthday is the day before mine. We are one year and one day apart. When her husband was off seeing the world...we were still wandering aimlessly around our small town. No road trips. No exotic location.

Then...a forty something year old man asked me if he could buy me dinner. Why? Because I'll be 27. Because 27 is no longer 25. Because 27 is close enough to 30 that I might as well be forty and subsequently forty-something and go out to dinner.

"I feel...I feel..." my friend Kelly can't find the words to describe it - but we both feel it.

"Stale." I say.

We look the same as we did in high school. But we are much different people. But - it seems...not different enough. It seems like we've been doing the same thing for years on end and we're...tired of doing those things. And we don't want to get old.

Kelly is married and I am not - but still - it seems everyone else is more fulfilled than us. How - we can't explain. Except to say that somehow being 27 makes us the loser by default. We refuse to attend our high school reunion.

After I finish "Living a Life That Matters", I feel better. I feel changed. I am a good daughter, a good grand-daughter, a good sister and a good friend. I no longer guilt myself for the choices I make regarding the people I love. On a late afternoon, I am anxiously awaiting a call back for a quote on a last minute - tight deadline - story. The phone rings and the source is on the other line. There is a high that comes with that. And I realize that I have found the one thing that I love to do...maybe I don't know how to do it quite right yet - but I still know what it is... That is more than a lot of people have.

There is still time for me to turn what I think is facing the wrong way - around. Friendships, habits, goals. Locations.

Most importantly...I'm changing my state of mind. Which I have a feeling...will end up being the hardest change I ever have to make.

Here's to road trips...and exotic locations.

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