Monday, February 9, 2009

On Life in General: Birthday Musings

I turned 29 last Friday, and like every year around my birthday, I spent some time thinking back on my life so far, and on the previous year, and my hopes for the year to come.  And though it is out of the norm for me to post philosophically about life in general, I just can't resist.  I blame it on the birthday.

I was telling some ladies this weekend that there will be no love lost between me and my twenties, and that I'm looking forward to ending this decade of life and moving into the next one.  This, I realize, is unusual.  Most of us are forever attempting to hang on to our youthfulness, especially when our twenties give way to our thirties, and our thirties to our forties, etc. etc.  But for me, my twenties was a decade of a lot of personal struggle.  I mean, I had a vision for what I wanted with my adulthood early on--I even wrote it down on paper when I was 22 or 23.  And somewhere between then and now, I deviated greatly to my own demise.

This blog comments regularly on my attempts to get back to that original vision, which included entrepreneurialism (specifically related to design), lots of domesticity, community engagement, and motherhood.  The journey back, as I've related many times, has been challenging, especially as I've wrestled with income, and accolades (there aren't many in my line of work...), and my expectations for success.

There are two things I guess I'd like to communicate clearly--lessons I've reflected on during this birthday.  The first is that it took me a long time to finally pursue the kind of life I've wanted, and it's been a hard process.  I lacked courage and fortitude for so many years, and I was afraid of what people would think if I left an honorable career to work at home.  But now that I've done it, my confidence grows in it every day. 

The second lesson is that my choices aren't for everyone.  I never want women to read this blog and think that I'm only advocating a life at home.  Sometimes readers will comment to me--almost as if to apologize--that they are working and enjoy their jobs.  I fully support careers in the 9-5!  I just want us to have the option to choose the lifestyle we want.  My lifestyle makeover has involved lots of domesticity, but the style that looks good on me (speaking metaphorically) may not look flattering on someone else. 

As for other lessons, I'll leave those unwritten.  You've probably had enough birthday musing for one day...

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