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Halfway

Today, I turned 35.

And for the first time in my life, I’ve felt a small measure of anxiety over my age. I loved turning 30–like, love loved. In a weird way, I felt like I was catching up to myself–as though I’d always been 30. And in the ensuing five years, I’ve found myself feeling … relaxed … comfortable … happy with myself. There have been hard things, certainly. Sad times, yesofcourse. But in short, my 30s so far have been great.

But 35. Thirty-five is … really close to 40. And it’s half of 70. And because of that, for the last few weeks, the thought keeps rolling, I’ve lived half(ish) of my life.

It’s not so much the getting older. I don’t mind that. Aging has never scared me. And 35 isn’t even that old. It’s more the reality that what I thought my life would be by now … isn’t. And because time is ticking–so very loudly–I can’t help but think … What have I done? What am I doing?

The measuring stick, against which I’ve always compared my progress–the measuring stick by which the vast majority of society compares life’s progress, I would venture–seems to have snapped into splintering bits. At least for me.

I do not have a spouse. I do not have a home. I do not have any children.

And there are currently no prospects for any of those options.

When it didn’t happen at 21, like I always imagined it would when I was a little girl (surely my life will follow the same course parents’ did, I thought), I just assumed it would happen by 25. But when it hadn’t happened at 25, I thought, Oh–well 27, then. And when 27 came and went, It must be waiting at 30, I mused. But 30 breezed by and so I set my sights on 35.

Now, 35 is here. Certainly by 35, it was supposed to be.

But it’s not.

And while the absence of spouse and house are softer pills to swallow, I am keenly aware that the years and possibility of bearing children are slowly–no, quickly–diminishing.

I have about a decade left, give or take. A decade is not very long. In fact, didn’t I just turn 25? Yes, I’m certain of it.

And so again, I ask myself, for the ten-thousandth time, What have I done? What am I doing?

Today, in the shower, as the scalding water streamed, scorching soul and skin, I searched for an answer. I made list upon list.

I have been educated and have continued to seek knowledge. I am a bright, intelligent, inquisitive woman who loves to think and fiercely believes that her brain is her best feature.

I have seen bits and pieces of the world. No, I haven’t seen all I want to see and been everywhere I want to have been, but I have said “yes” to the chances that have come and been enthralled with the introductions they’ve provided to life outside of my own.

I have shared a home with someone I loved. It may not have had my name on the deed, but I was wrapped and sheltered by its walls–walls that formed rooms filled with laughter, happiness, peace, contentment, and the Spirit of the Lord.

I have loved a man so deeply I was changed. He never loved me back, but the years I spent loving him were some of the most illuminating years of my life.

I have massaged a birthing mother’s legs and confidently affirmed that yes, you can do this, physically pushing my certainty in her ability past the contracting space between us and into her body, mind, and spirit, as she labored to bring life. And I stood steps away as life’s first breath was breathed.

I have rocked babies to sleep. No they may not have been mine, but my arms have filled in when their mothers’ were weary or unable.

I have praised God and am saved daily by His Son. I have heard His voice and I have held my faith.

But above all these things, as I look at my life and think, What have I done? What am I doing?, I see a life filled to the brim with people–people to whom I have sat close, holding hands and hearts, sharing stories and shoulders. People, with whom I have cried, laughed, played, and prayed. People who have nudged my rumination and stretched the capacities of my contemplation. And in those moments of blessed connection, I have found born within me such jewels as sincerity, compassion, testimony, adoration and a loyalty stronger than the Rock of Gibraltar.

No, I may not have a house, but I have known home.

And I may not have a spouse, but I have known love.

And I may have never borne a child, but I have given birth.

And while yes, certainly, I want more–I do believe life is for wanting and reaching–this is only intermission.

I still have the whole second half (and hopefully, then some) to go.

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12 Comments

  1. You’re awesome. And this is beautiful. Happy Birthday my dear! May your second half be even better than your first.

  2. Well written, well expressed! You are an amazing woman…..I would love to have shared more of this amazing journey you have taken thus far! You may or may not bear children in this life….but if you do not, I know with a certainty that you will in the next part of this eternal journey! And what a wonderful mother you will be! In the meantime, you serve as a wonderful example of faith, and love, and strength, and honesty, and talent and so much more to all of us that have been even a small part of your life! You have touched the lives of SO MANY people, you have made a difference! Many of us who have lived the journey you imagined in your youth, recognize that you have accomplished so much more than we have, made such a contribution to this world….just by being the amazing women you are! Happy Birthday, Krista, May The Lord bless you to continue to find joy in the rest of your earthly journey! We love you!

  3. I am so honored to be a part of the highlights of your first half. (I’m assuming I’m that laboring woman. :)
    You will never know how much strength and comfort you gave me.
    Sure love you, sister.
    Happy 35!

  4. I recently re-read E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web with my son. I can never hold back the tears during that last chapter. And I couldn’t stop thinking about YOU Kris. Maybe because we had just talked on the phone. Most likely, because you remind me of Charlotte, a true, selfless friend…and a good writer.

    Wilbur asks Charlotte: “Why did you do all this for me?’ ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
    ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing. You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

    “Wilbur never forgot Charlotte…She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

    How grateful I am that you have lived the first half of your life so resonantly – for others. Happy Birthday friend!

  5. I feel like I just read the post I would have written at 35 (though I wouldn’t have written it nearly as beautifully). So many of the same feelings (including feeling like I was FINALLY my right age when I turned 30). You have lived a sweet life and there is more sweetness ahead. You know it. You feel it. And I can’t wait to watch it for you.
    xoxo

  6. All of the other comments have expressed so eloquently my thoughts. So I’ll just say. I think you are amazing & I love you. Happy Birthday.

  7. Krista, you are so special. This post is special. It made me cry because of it’s beauty. You are so special! I adore you!

    xo,
    Marilyn

  8. HaPpY BiRtHdAy.
    I’m so happy that I was able to be a very small part of your 35 years.
    You change lives wherever you go.
    I’ll always cherish those years in my heart. And, when I sit and rock on my front pouch.

  9. I stumbled upon this website randomly or divinely…I feel almost as though I was reading bits of my very own life right before my eyes…know that the Lord your God sees you…you are an amazing person that allows the Love of Jesus to shine through you into a broken world…thank you so much…don’t ever give up girly!

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