I turn thirty-one today. Inspired by S, who was inspired by Lindsay, here is a time capsule of sorts, meant to capture life at this moment.
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Thirty-one is feeling fulfilled and inspired by my MFA program, waking up every morning grateful for the opportunity to focus on my writing, and thrilled to be in a place that feels so right.
Thirty-one is being happy in the present moment, but nervous about the future - will we find good jobs, will we pay off our debt, will it all be downhill from here? Thirty-one is trying not to think too much, and instead enjoying what we have, while we have it.
Thirty-one is writing my first novel, the thrill of setting down a story and watching as it does things and goes places I never expected. Thirty-one is wondering if I'll ever publish this book, or any book
Thirty-one is full of wonderful friends, the community of writers with whom I spend my days, all my friends in other places, the knowledge that I am lucky to love so many people, and the heartache of seeing only a few of them on a regular basis.
Thirty-one is communing daily with other creatures - two giant dogs, eight chickens, and one beehive - and the simple pleasure of watching them grow and be their creature-selves.
Thirty-one is feeling stronger than ever, swinging kettlebells and practicing yoga and running through neighborhoods that have become so familiar in just two short years. Thirty-one is letting go of impossible standards and celebrating my body for what it does, instead of how it looks. Thirty-one is confidence and comfort.
Thirty-one is love and marriage and a partnership that continues to challenge and inspire me. Thirty-one is eleven years later, knowing how lucky I am to share so much of the past with one person, and how excited I am to face the future together.
Thirty-one is a hot summer days at the beach, Settlers of Catan, rejections from literary journals, massive credit card debt, too many student loans, and living in a house I don't like. Thirty-one is real estate fever, kayaking to Masonboro Island, box wine, fried eggs, guilt that I don't call my mother often enough, teaching college students, wondering if I will ever publish a book, and hoping we get our first jar of honey this summer. Thirty-one is library books, morning walks with the dogs, the YMCA, baking sourdough bread, Thursday night trivia, and a garden that won't grow. Thirty-one is happy days, hard work, and - above all - hope.
Hello, thirty-one. I'm glad you're here.