I long to return where my heart’s song began
The quaint city by the ocean I once knew so well
How I long to play along her sugar white shore
Swim in her ocean as deep and as blue as my longing
I long to jump up and down amidst her ocean floor with it’s scattered sea shells that tumble and stumble, all the while, tickling the tips of my toes
Crash about in her ocean waves as if I were a discarded cork, bobbing freely, just me…
©2011 Angela C. Soelzer Ragosa
I recall in vivid detail the morning of my 45th birthday. My brother phoned me up to sing “Happy Birthday”. We chatted for a while and then I proceeded to share with him how I was agonizing over the fact that I, indeed, turned forty-five. My brother proceeded to quickly point out the fact that the alternative to turning forty-five years old was far bleaker.
I was taken aback, and dismayed by my own reaction to this particular birthday. I tried so desperately to feel positive and grateful, but instead, I felt a profound sense of dread. The practice of self-loathing seeped into my every cell. I began to rationalize my own behavior by telling myself that it was “MY birthday, and I could feel anyway I damned well pleased.” This rebellion only managed to fuel a sickening sense of entitlement that I knew to be self-sabotage.
Instead of feeling the joy normally felt when one knows they have made it through another year; I began to feel as though I had been taken prisoner by some evil archenemy. I had rapidly become obsessed with numbers and became disillusioned by the raging of aging. I suddenly began to resent the number forty-five with a ferocious contempt. Before I knew it, I was in the throes of a full-blown pity party of my own creation. At this point, I knew I had to change this whole perverted perception. This train of unconstructive self-serving rhetoric would no longer be an optional outlet. I knew deep down inside, the deceptive anguish and feelings I was experiencing I would need to let go of and put into proper perspective.
And so, I sought to embrace this new chapter of my life, and knew it was essential for me to do so in order to continue living my life as I always had, courageously.
Within my mind, I knew it was essential for me to redefine what entering midlife meant. I conscientiously reflected upon all the silly, senseless preconceived notions I wasted my time on that day, coming to the conclusion that life is all in the attitude of our own choosing. I woke up to the certain truth that 45 years reflects the number of years I have been blessed with life…my life!
It was then that I allowed myself moments to grieve for, and let go of my youth I had tried so desperately to hang onto. I also realized and accepted the fact that change, while ever present, presents us with many challenges we are sometimes unprepared to take on emotionally. Birthdays always seem to have a way of sneaking up on us. I have also come to believe that there are moments when we may not be ready to accept the fact another entire year of our life has evaporated and is now gone. It is precisely then that, we accept the harsh reality that we will never have the opportunity to relive again those endearing moments we shared with our family and friends and take the time to mourn for our yesterdays…
As women, we are a deep, sensitive species and much more in tune with our emotional side; therefore we tend to feel a profound sense of loss when moments evolve into memories. I personally consider this to be one of the true blessings of being female. Today, as I reflect upon my 45th birthday, it makes me sad for the woman I was at that moment in time. If I could go back in time and speak with her, I’d let her know, she had no idea what hope and promise awaited her. I’d also let her know life would become simply sweeter and far more delicious with each passing day. I would say to her, that age is indeed, just a number, a number that reflects how many seconds, minutes, days, weeks and years she had loved, laughed, cried, and celebrated her life.