Chapter two, the next fifty years.
Holy shit, I’m turning fifty tomorrow. I’m kicking it off with a sunrise sail with my kids and my sweetie and wrapping it up with one of my best friends in the world (think crazy decadent desserts and champagne). I don’t think I’ve felt this excited about a birthday since I was a little kid. This is an excellent sign and I have gotten a very clear message that I need to start paying attention to signs.
This morning I was backing out of my driveway to go to work, which is in and of itself a daily trial because that’s just the way it is sometimes when you live in a city with more than 4 million other people.
There were no cars on the street and it was wet-looking. At first I thought it was street cleaning day, but then I saw that it was blocked off at all entrances, and there were no cars in driveways either.
A white piece of paper has been posted near my front door — kind of curled in and flapping in the wind all week. I remember glancing at it when it was first posted, something about street work, and then promptly forgetting about it (’cause I didn’t read the whole thing and thought it only applied to street parking). I returned to the posting and read it in detail. Shit. I screwed up. I hate when that happens. You know, when you screw up and there is just no one or no thing to blame.
Fuck it, that’s what I decided, I have to go to work — I’m just going to drive through it.
I backed out of my driveway, a bit dismayed at how deeply my tires grooved into the fresh asphalt. I drove up to the closest exit (an alley two houses up), moved the barricade and quickly made my escape. Not before looking back though to see the evidence I left behind. Fresh tire marks from my house to the alley.
All the neighbors will know (that I messed up, forgot, didn’t pay attention). It’s unclear really what they will think they will know, but they will know that I am not perfect, they may or may not think unkind things about me, and I am embarrassed. (Actually, I was embarrassed; I’m not anymore. Now I’m kind of excited to have left my mark).
I stopped at the car wash near my house before going to work (late) to wash off the caked asphalt from my tires and wheel wells. As I drove to work, I started laughing. If I can’t do it wrong and every challenge is an opportunity…I decided my opportunity was a reminder to read the signs. Both literally, metaphorically. Pay attention.
It’s all here. Everything I need is here. I just need to pay attention.
As for turning fifty, I am launching myself into the world as a writer, and couldn’t be more excited or more terrified. It’s my life, part two. Not where dreams come true, but where the fog is lifted and dreams are remembered. It’s where I see I’ve been living the dream all along.
Yes, I am excited to be turning fifty. Up until today, it was my plan to get, you know, on board with it, in a positive kind of way. I was feeling neutral, at best. It sounds old to me — fifty. I don’t feel old, and I didn’t want to start feeling old, because a part of me thinks fifty is old. I am thrilled about this next chapter.
Wendy Meyer, best-selling author, sought-after teacher, radiant beauty and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (hey, why not?).
This is where I remember I can fly. I invite you to join me. It’s going to be fun.