As I take today to celebrate my 41st year of existence, I'd like to use this moment to reflect upon the journey thus far. Not always easy (understatement of the ages), beyond my scope of understanding more times than I care to admit, I nonetheless have chosen to view my sojourn through this life as one filled with a plethora of opportunities, a continual stream of experiences, for learning, for loving, for reaching beyond the pragmatic, beyond fear, to live with a sense of wonder and magic each and every day...
I live life with abandon. Fear is constantly dancing about the edges of my grey matter as I undertake an unfamiliar experience. Nonetheless, I just take a deep breath (or seven) and proceed. There is always an outcome, oftentimes an obstacle to be overcome, new directions continually revealed, and the fervent trust in myself that I will invariably figure it out.
I am learning to be gentle with myself. Not an easy task for this thrill seeking girl with a penchant for overachieving. My father, the progenitor of this temperament in my family, oftentimes mused that I was just like him. More curse than credit in many ways, this personality type comes equipped with a self-critique mechanism that is usually set anywhere from generally critical to brutal. Introspection and learning from one's mistakes is a good thing. Repeatedly beating myself up for human error is not.
I love with my whole being. In the past, I've been hurt deeply. So much so, that for a time I built a wall around my heart that not only served as barrier, but also as cage. When the heart is confined, so too is the bounty of riches one can only experience when one's soul is laid bare. I've spent the last several months painstakingly deconstructing walls that I had previously erected around my soft interior over the last two decades. The demolition process has been incredibly difficult, the pain overwhelming at times, but the rewards have been tremendous.
I seek out opportunities to learn something new each and every day. Always the avid student (and teacher for that matter), this quality or rather, craving, for a constant stream of new experiences, knowledge, dialog and debate, factoids and figures has become heightened as I enter the middle of my life. I feel as if I am literally a sponge, soaking up information and experience as quickly as I can absorb it, freshly incorporating data to assist me about the incredibly fast-paced world we live in.
I view the world through the eyes of a child. We live in a dynamic time and place, laden with myriad sensory delights, ripe with vibrant color, sights and sounds bounding from every direction, a squall of people, events, communications and media buffeting us about our daily lives. It's intoxicating and inspiring! As an artist, this time, this place is fecund. Even on the days when I awake with a less than favorable outlook on life, I grab a cup of coffee and reframe, readying myself to greet the rest of the day with a bit of hope, humor and happiness, full-tilt wonder sure to follow.
I enter my 41st year with a few scratches and dings, my leather seats sagging a little with age, a bit road-worn, but under the hood I remain strong, ready for the what the road ahead has in store. So, the next 41 years?