I turn 35 today.
About a month ago, during a late-night conversation with a close friend, she asked what it’s like to turn 35, if I had any regrets, if I was happy.
I answered then, but it didn’t come out the way it should have.
I guess I should’ve answered like this:
Turning 35 isn’t all that bad. There’s been good, and there’s been bad. I wouldn’t change it, though, because it’s all added up to make me who I am. I like that person today, and I’m not sure I would have said that five years ago. Or maybe even two years ago.
Today, though, I’m happy. Good or bad, here’s why:
I have had a broken collarbone, a broken foot and too many sprains, twists, tears and tweaks to list.
I have destroyed a knee, twice, with surgeries each time to repair it. It hurts every day.
I have a scar on my arm from chicken pox.
I have held a great job at a small newspaper.
I have gotten completely burned out by small-town journalism.
I have elementary, middle school and high school teachers and college professors I still talk to on a semi-regular basis. I still feel awkward calling them by their first names.
I have an amazing job working for a health department that gives back so much to the community.
I have the chance to interact with people I respect, which allows me to learn more about being successful.
I have the chance to interact with people I despise, which allows me to learn even more about being successful.
I have the chance to realize that people I interact with probably weigh more toward despising me than respecting me, which allows me to learn more about myself.
I have been married.
I have been divorced.
I have fallen in love.
I have had my heart broken.
I have broken hearts.
I have at least two women in two different states who won’t acknowledge my existence.
I have fought.
I have laughed.
I have cried, from happiness and pain, joy and sadness.
I have made others cry, from happiness and pain, joy and sadness.
I have friends who are there for me anytime I need them.
I have realized these people are more like my family.
I have friends who are never there.
I have realized these people aren’t really my friends.
I have one God.
I have three nephews who make me feel like a kid again, even when my knee disagrees.
I have a sister who I became friends with as we got older.
I have a mother who almost died but came back a stronger person.
I have a father who should have died but came back a better person.
I have my family, I have my friends, I have my health, I have my house, I have my job.
I am alive.
So, I guess 35 isn’t all that bad.