Well turning thirty-five hit me hard. It made me feel like I was halfway through life and based on how much I screwed up in the first half, a LOT of pressure was felt to make the second half better. That all changed though, when I was at a stoplight in my hometown just last week.
I saw a young girl behind the wheel of a driver's ed car stopped at the light opposite of me. I could feel her anxiety penetrate from her clenched fists on the steering wheel, through her windshield and then, miraculously through mine. It was like I was transported back in time. This girl was a miserable, anxiety-ridden 15 and a half year old (is that when they start driving these days?) and I suddenly became her and in the same instant realized how much I didn't want to be her. Nor, did I want to live in any of my other past years. The thought of the early twenties when I was petrified of drill instructors in the military made my jaw clench and my stomach turn. Basically any age from twenty to twenty-five was insanely bittersweet for me, the bitter being much more prominent. I fully believe in the quarter-life crisis. For me it was a time of self doubt and painstaking anxiety. I so badly wanted to be someone that I was not.
So, while I am dreading the physical aches that accompany getting older, I am happy with where I am and I wouldn't dare go back to the days of that first broken heart, that first day of junior high and any of those other firsts that I have somehow managed to conquer.
In honor of "Throwback Thursday," here's to years past and to not only getting older, but getting better.