today is my 29th (for real this time) birthday. yup, 29 years and still going. technically i am 30 as far as wear and tear go, but since we don't start out as 1 i still get an extra year to revel in my 20's. not a bad deal really.
so what happened this past year? do i actually feel older?
for the first time i have to say yes. this past year was all about growth and change. i saw a number of my friends get married, another friend had another baby, some friends solified their parenting roles and others maintained their lives without much change. watching all of this happen around me i made choices that not everyone understands.
i decided to leave a job that could have prompted a number of public service jobs for one that requires me to work hard and learn fast in order to work my way up the food chain. this is a decision that was based on a number of unpredictables and that i still struggle with during the times of my job that i feel completely useless in a sea of bureaucracy and policy.
i decided to adopt. probably the biggest decision yet but spurred on by my desire to be a parent, to help shape a life and to leave a legacy. of course my adopting is completely continguent upon someone realizing that i can be a parent even though i am single and in my 20's. this is a variable. okay, this is an obstacle, but one that i hope doesn't stop me from living a dream.
i learned this year the immense value of family. more than ever before actually. i learned this year that family is beyond blood or legal ties and delves deeply into the friendships that i create with those around me. my family this year grew into friendships that i value as much as i value my relationship with my traditional family.
i learned about friends this year. i learned to let go of friendships that were one sided and hurtful. i learned to embrace the friends that i have by sharing my thoughts, emotions and ambitions. i learned to be friends with gene regardless of what past fault i placed on him. i learned that my friends are the people i can talk to about anything and who i will listen to regardless of the time they call.
and this year i learned to accept myself. warts, boils, faults, depression, artistic creation, nerdiness, craziness and all. (okay, i do not have warts and boils, but i do have wrinkles and male pattern baldness.)
so, the past year was huge.
want to see photos from the night? go here: http://picasaweb.google.com/joshuamslade/29thBirthday