thirty-one

[written 03/12/08]

.. and eight days. i’m a firm believer in birthday months, you know, so i’ve been having little celebratory moments all week.

i found this picture today, organizing my room with a burst of spring cleaning fever – it’s from just a little less than ten years ago. i remember i was in moscow – i was living there for a semester my junior year in college – and was planning on heading back to maryland in the middle of my stay for just a week, to attend my brother’s wedding. they needed a photograph of me, for some visa paperwork stuff, so i got this pic taken at a random photo booth in a metro station. i was freshly twenty-one, having just finished a summer in new york city, crazy head-over-heels in love with a boy that was far away, i had super short hair for the first time in my life, was living thousands of miles from anyone i knew, and generally was feeling all brand new. kinda freaked out by that, but loving it all the same.

so, i look at this photo now and i think, oh my, that’s not me anymore. that’s some other girl. and that makes me sad. there’s things about that other girl that i wouldn’t want back, no way, i’m glad i have learned some things, i have grown up in some ways. but.. maybe that’s it. that’s a girl there. and though i feel girlish at times, i don’t feel like a girl anymore. i’ve been thinking this for a while actually.. this is the year that i grew up, this is the year that i became an adult. maybe that’s silly, thirty-one is a pretty old age to grow up, huh? finally, right? but there it is. inescapable thought. believe me, i’ve tried to escape it.

of course, that girl is somewhere in me, layers deep, just like the five year old and the baby and so on. but i can never be that same girl again, and so today, a week after my birthday – after the days of celebrating thirty-one years on this planet – i’m taking a few moments to miss that girl. and miss my girlhood. it was a really good one, all in all – i was a really lucky girl. and oh my gosh did it fly. i can remember sitting in that booth, waiting for the flash, more clearly than i can remember yesterday, in a way, you know?

it’s funny – birthday’s have always been to me about looking forward, what’s the coming year going to be like, etc etc, but now i see you can look at it the other way too.. appreciate the now, yes! and the future, of course! but also, celebrate and yes even mourn for what has passed and can never be again – there were hundreds of precious moments that have passed, and only i was there for all of them and know what has gone. so, here’s to memories. and girlhood. and thirty-one years of living life…

thanks, as always, for reading ~ ~ hope march has been good to you so far.