Reflections on Turning 54

In a few months, I’ll be 54 years old. 54. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been on this earth for 54 years – that seems like such a long time. And then I look back, rewind my life to those moments when…when I fell in love for the first time, when my heart was first broken, when I learned to drive a car, got my first job, and had my first kiss.

Life was stretched out before me, yet I couldn’t wait to be older. To not have a curfew anymore. To have my own place; my own set of dishes and coffee cups. And believe it or not, I even wanted my own bills. Lord almighty, what a dope.

Sometimes I look back at the girl I used to be, and what I’ve been through, and I shudder. A survivor of domestic abuse so horrible, I had to lie to my parents and tell them I was in a car accident on the night I became engaged. A time in my life when I didn’t know if I’d live to see twenty-two.

Sometimes I look back and smile, remembering the boy who watched me sing from the library in high-school, who became my first love, my first heartbreak, and in later years, a friend when I really needed him.

I look back even further, at my first friends – and the sleepovers, pizza parties, birthdays spent together, and so much craziness, that I want to go back to that time, and just enjoy every single minute.

I reflect on the long history I had with dating the wrong ones, the “could be” the ones, the “oh my gosh, what was I thinking” ones. I remember wondering if I’d ever actually find ‘the one‘. 

I’ve broken hearts and had mine broken. I’ve burned bridges and rebuilt them again. Time has healed wounds, created new ones, and healed them over again.

I chuckle a bit when I think about my life now, married with three kids living in suburbia, when I’d vowed to live in New York, have a super trendy apartment and follow my dream of being a big star on Broadway. Back when I had all white furniture and glass Faberge eggs on every table in my stucco walled, hard-wood, 2nd floor apartment.

I am brought to tears when I remember my grandparents; my Nana’s insatiable love for life, and my Papa’s adoration of her. The holidays together, the music, the singing. Eighty-nine years of a life well lived. The traditions they began, the ones my parents continued – the magical childhood I had.

I don’t know what the coming years will bring, but I know that I will try to remember it all. I will savor every moment I have with my mom, my dad…my kids. I will try to take a mental picture while I’m in those moments and store it to look back on and reflect in years to come.

It’s been a great 53 years; I am grateful for every lesson, every single part of it…it has brought me to this point right now; to the woman I’ve become.

Thanks for joining me on this journey…

Let’s see what this year brings.

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