Friday, September 23, 2011

35 years.

Today, I am 35. No, I'm not looking for "happy birthday"s.
This has been a hard number for me, in some ways. Yes, I had a beautiful day because I have beautiful people that surround me, but, the only phrase that has been running through my mind all day long has been:
It just goes by so fast.

I'm 35. 35. 35!!! Think back to high school. Think about when you were 15 and you met someone who was 35. Shit, your MOM could have been 35 when you were 15!! 35 sounded old. Realistically, I know I'm not old, 70 is old, but man, life has really flown by.

All day today I have been trying to think of my birthdays past. What did I do for my 5th birthday? My 15th? My 25th? Honestly, I really could not remember many. I hope this is normal.

I remember a few. Of course, I remember the previous few years, Probably 29 through today, but aside from my 21st, I had a really difficult time remembering. So, tonight, I decided to hunt for old birthday pictures, after putting Lily down for the night.

This was easier said than done.

Thank God for the digital age because I really sucked at keeping pictures of milestones when pictures were only on paper. I have plenty of pictures of Bear, other people's birthdays, proms, college parties, etc., but my birthdays? Not many. Which is funny because I love pictures. I can sit and look at them for hours. Pictures are what make me remember. I can't believe I didn't keep many from my own birthdays!

The only one I came across from my early teenage years was....
Yes, 1990 brought 1990's bangs. After stumbling across this picture, I remember this night. I had about ten friends for a sleepover. We all didn't have matching shirts but Jaime was my best friend, still is, thankfully, and we NEEDED to match. Do you see the collection of Baby Sitter's Club books on my shelf? Classic.

And then the next...
Jaime and I clearly got over our matching phase but Jesus, why did I straighten my hair...chemically?? Someone should have stopped me. You can't see it in this picture but it turned green and it wasn't even straight, really. Awful. 
Again, this picture jogged my memory a bit. A different ten friends, aside from Jaime, Tatum, and Gina, gathered at our local (and new!) Chili's. I'm sure the remainder of the night had something to do with a dance club. I can't be sure though.

I also had pictures from my 19th and 20th, which also included Jaime. I love how pictures tell a story and sometimes reveal who is important in life.

(This was taken at AJ's Sports Bar in Tallahassee with my friend Jody. I met her about 9 months before this picture was taken. We bonded instantly. We're still very close. I am so lucky to have long standing friendships. Priceless.)
Sigh. 21. I lived in Tallahassee, attended FSU, worked at Hooters, and lived a fantastically fun life. Not that I don't now, but lets face it, I was 21. Life was easy.
I was thrown into the Wescott fountain, like all 21 year olds who attend FSU. I don't even know who these guys are but 1.) they were fun and 2.) They saw my panties. Good times.

My parents took Jody and I to Vegas for my 21st. Oh.My.God. Vegas. We had such a blast. We met Jamie Foxx (circa In Living Color) and Charles Barkley, at the same club. I also think what's-his-face from that band Sugar Ray was there, too. He's a gossip T.V. host now. Gah, what's his name??
Anyway, I DO remember my 21st like it was yesterday.
Pictured with my grandma. I was in a completely different life by the time I was 24. It's so funny how quickly I wanted to grow up back then. These stumbled upon pictures during these mid-twenties years scream "FIND YOURSELF AND DO IT QUICKLY BECAUSE YOU'RE KIND OF FUCKING UP!". I now know that's what you're supposed to do in your 20's: fuck up. How else would I have learned?

There were others from my 25th, my 29th and then....
Pictured with Jody. This seems like just a couple of months ago. I cannot believe five years has gone by. 30 was not difficult for me. I was still basking in the "my boyfriend is eight years younger than me and people think we're the same age" phase.

And today...
A little more tired looking, perhaps some darker circles under my eyes, a few more wrinkles...but then there's Lily. This innocent little being who is just beginning her journey. She only has had two birthdays (well documented and photographed, I might add). I only have celebrated three birthdays as a mama. She began such a huge new chapter in my life. She makes me proud to be 35 simply because I am her mama.

And, cheers to my mama, on this day. 35 years ago, she gave me life and began her journey as a mama. I cannot imagine how I will feel when my baby turns 35!

It's been an amazing 35 years. Here's to at least 35 more.