No longer young, not yet old.

So today I have completed 3 decades on this Earth, which is both highly significant and pretty inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things.  My father never dreamed he’d make it past 25 — he made it to 64, which was really more of a miracle than it sounds.  And yet simply not enough time.  I wish he were here today, to wish me a Happy Birthday Kiddo in that raspy voice of his, pulling me in for a hug with his tattooed arms and huge, battered hands.

Instead I have the sweetest baby in the world, who when she smiles reminds me of him.  That is what is incredible about having a child of your own flesh and blood — your loved ones who have died come back to you in their little faces.  Olive gave me the truly wonderful gift of sleeping through the night for the first time in over a month!  When she woke up and Joel brought her to me, she gave me a look of unparalleled joy at seeing my face — it’s truly amazing when she does that, it makes me feel like a zillion dollars.  Then Joel gave me the fabulous gift of an e-reader, which I have been wanting for a very long time and he has been telling me there’s no way we can afford it.  He got friends and family to chip in and now I don’t have to balance huge tomes on my lap while breastfeeding the baby!  It’s very exciting.  I believe the first book I buy will be Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

So, thirty.  This past decade has been all about creating good habits, finding balance and sanity.  Then I threw a wrench in the whole machine by having a child, and now I am searching for my footing again, seeking to make meaning in this post-baby life.

I have a close friend who constantly reminds me of how far I’ve come, how much work I’ve done to heal myself.  I see what he means — it’s been ten long years of slogging through the underworld, but sometimes I wonder if what he’s trying to tell me is that I was totally crazy and terrible to be around when he first met me, and he’s incredulous at how I can be bearable to be around now.  Which is pretty much true.  When Joel first fell in love with me, this friend was like “Dude, pass on her.  One way ticket to Crazytown.”  But I guess I won him over because he was in our wedding and is our baby’s Godfather and basically our biggest fan.  And thank Jeebus Joel didn’t listen to him and pursued me anyway — my transformative love relationship with him has been the #1 reason I am not growing snakes out of my head today.

My next blog post will be: “Heal Yourself Through Your Twenties The Rhea St. Julien Way: in 20 Difficult Steps!”  It’s sure to be a banger.  But for now, I’m going to go enjoy my birthday to the hilt, remembering where I came from (Big ups to my longest relationship — with my Mama!) and where I still have to go.

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6 thoughts on “No longer young, not yet old.

  1. Happy Birthday! Tina Fey FTW. I might have to check out that book myself. E-readers are awesome. My wife bought me an iPad for my birthday (she did the same thing, said we couldn’t afford it- except we kind of can’t). It’s great to have books available all together on an easily carry-able device. Enjoy your e-reader!

  2. The thirties are fun… young enough to do anything (in your case to run after a toddler, you’ll need all your youthful energy) and old enough to start ignoring your insecurities. Happy birthday, and enjoy the decade to come, and many, many more.

  3. Happy Birthday Rhea. Love your blogs. And I love my kindle/e reader. I got one for my birthday and it is very user friendly. I just have to remember I am paying something for the books I order. Did you hear Tina Fey on Terry Gross yesterday. I am going to buy Bossypants today. I did think once or twice that Tina’s honesty and presentation reminded me of you. A great mix of humor, love, attitude and honesty. And most of all not afraid to be creative. You are a writer, my friend. Have a good day.

  4. I am so proud of you Rhea. I loved you then in your “crazy” days and I love you now! Have a wonderful birthday…

    • Yes, you have always loved me exactly as I am. You have been an amazing force of acceptance in my life. I love you and am so grateful for you!

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