It transpires that during my little blogging break I managed to miss a couple of milestones! Not just any milestones either – milestones that I always make a point of marking by writing long and slightly unhinged posts about the rapid passing of time and my anxieties about the state of play of my life – your favourite kind, I’m sure!! Those milestones were of course my blogging anniversary – of which we crossed the 4 year mark this year to my utter disbelief – and my birthday.
Birthdays always seem to bring out the most emotive of ramblings in me. It may well be partly because of that aforementioned rapid passing of time, but to be honest it is more to do with that horrible way ageing has of forcing you to scrutinise your life and all your achievements (or lack of them…) That fear of life slipping by too quickly without accomplishing those big goals in life has been all too apparent in my previous Birthday posts – particularly last year’s, in which I finally got honest about it – but this year definitely signalled a big change, and so I thought it only right that, despite it being a little while ago now, I write my usual post about it.
The transition from 35 to 36 was a bit of a non event. Actually, that is a big fat lie! I can hardly call it a non event because I woke up in a Caribbean paradise with a day of island hopping planned – it was pretty much the best and most extravagant birthday I’ve ever experienced or am likely to experience again! What I mean to say is, while in previous years a looming birthday always instigated at least a few weeks of pondering and worry both before and after, this year it came and went in a blur. I had so much to think about in the run up that I’d almost forgotten it was happening, and now looking back I kind of have to remind myself that the amazing day we had was actually my birthday. It was both the most unforgettable yet forgettable birthday I’ve had so far, and there is a very good reason for that – it was just another day.
I’ve been telling myself over and over for the last few years that birthdays are just a day and nothing to be fearful of, and yet I’ve never managed to shake the feeling that they are something hugely significant, a marker by which I must measure myself by. But all of that was gone this year, because unlike previous years all of the ambiguity was gone. There I was, just 12 months after writing this emotional mess full of anxiety and uncertainty, sat on the back of a speedboat in the most incredible place I’ve ever been, with a diamond ring on my left hand and a tiny person growing inside of me, and for once it really didn’t matter that I didn’t have all the answers to what next month, next year, the next decade will look like – because I knew everything would be okay. That overwhelming sense that nothing I wanted from life was going to happen to me was gone, and I was able to just enjoy a lovely day without even thinking about my age. I was no longer in limbo, on the precipice of a life I wanted so much but couldn’t quite get to. That life is happening right now, and it’s the most lovely, liberating feeling!
That isn’t to say, of course, that my days of worrying are over. Far from it. There are still plenty of questions that wake me up at night. Will the baby be healthy and happy? Will I be a good Mum? Will he get fed up and leave me? Those of us who have suffered loss and heartbreak in life will always be scarred by the hurt of the past. But the difference now is that I know even if some of my fears come true, it doesn’t mean life can’t be good again. The most important thing I have learned in the last year is that things will ALWAYS get better, even when you feel completely hopeless, and sometimes they turn out even better than they were before.
Here’s to seeing what the next 12 months will hold, and for a change I say that with utter enthusiasm!