Friday, January 20, 2012
It is 2012. This year I will be 32.
When I was 10, 32 sounded old. Even my mom wasn’t 32. She was 30. I thought she was so unfashionable. Since I was so fashionable myself in turquoise shirts and purple pants. She made me change for the family reunion.
Anyway. When I was 10, I had a vague idea of who I’d be when I grew up. My imagination was limited to being about 25ish. I think that’s how old Kristi Howe was. At the time I thought she was the prettiest, coolest adult I knew. I was going to be married to a cowboy and have some little kids running around and always be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt and have lots of energy and talk to shy little girls and make them feel important.
Life didn’t come that way easily. I was rather awkward. And not fashionable. Even though I tried. I didn’t marry a cowboy. And 25 passed with no semblance of coolness or prettiness.
Then I hit almost-32. I look around my house. There are signs of kids. There’s a plastic shovel and hoe and a jenga game that were used by a 6 and 7 year old, a mancalla game from championships with a 12 year old, and cards for a crowd of teenage boys. These signs have been here for a few years. I thought when I left Eagles’ Wings, my kid stuff might sit unused but - thankfully - God always sends someone. I don’t really have any shy little girls to talk with, but I have a few random kids to whom I can give a few moments of my time - and they feel important.
I’ve finally realized that fashionable isn’t going to describe me. Still, for the most part, I understand how to weed my wardrobe down to clothes in which I am comfortable. I’ve learned to take care of my skin and do my hair so I can feel pretty. It isn’t f the makeup and hairdo that make the difference really; it's more that I’ve learned to appreciate what God has given and be thankful for WHO He’s made me.
It isn’t a dream come true. And I can’t say it thrills me when my coworkers convey a vague idea that they think I’m a nun. Nevertheless, I really believe that at 31 I have a better sense of who I am than ever before. Maybe soon I can quote, “I once was young, but now am old -” but I can already proclaim the second half, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken.”