Turning the page to twenty-nine.

Here I am, quickly approaching my twenty-ninth chapter, the twenty-ninth year of my existence on this earth. With the hum of the air conditioner, and Miley singing “You’re going to make me lonesome“; I sit, as I do every year, and reflect on my last chapter. My twenty-eighth chapter wasn’t all that disappointing. There were certainly bumps in the road, like postpone trips, to financial insecurities, but with those bumps there were bright lights. The brightest light being, Kyle and I buying our first home, which is still in disorganized bliss, and with unfinished rooms. It often gives me the feels of an “apartment” because we don’t have the furniture, nor the money to buy furniture. But at the end of the day it is “our” home, and that’s all that matters to me.

Twenty-eight had me sitting on a plane for 4 and half hours flying south, followed by another 2 hour bus ride, to help my Father celebrate his 60th in Cuba. We (mum, dad and I) spent an entire week waking up at 8am, drinking beer before breakfast, lounging on the beach or pool side, and generally loving life. We also took a spur of the moment trip to Havana City, where culture shock was experienced in full as we sat outside, on a cobble stone patio drinking PiƱa coladas from a pineapple (while the bottle of rum was left at our table, to pour at our leisure).

Twenty-eight is the chapter that I learned that I really, really enjoy kicking and punching things, as a way of exercise, and therapy. It also taught me that I really enjoy a good work out. One that, for several days after, I’m so sore that it’s difficult to walk up and down the stairs, or lift my arms above my head. When I feel the muscles burn, the muscles cry, I know I’m doing what I should be doing to make myself a better, healthier, me. It’s an everyday struggle, but every day I face it head on, bull horns ready.

Twenty-Eight had me:
Meeting my first cockroach, or three.
Dying my hair purple, turquoise, blue, and luscious raspberry red
Having spur of the moment gatherings at my house
Celebrating Kyle’s 29th with friends of the last 15 years, ending with K and I playing Mario Kart with strangers online
Discovering what relaxing truly meant.
Realizing that there is more out there then working constantly (though I’m still a workaholic and have a hard time relaxing)
Discovering how beautiful Cuba truly is
Watching a friend of 17 years marry the love of his life
Showing a friend from Acadia around my tiny home town
Rediscovering my love for Kejimkujik National Park
Building a giant “rubber duck” head with my friend D and her buddy Mickey
Discovering that mental health is hard, but still a field I’d love to work in
Excepting that things DO, in fact, change – whether we like it or not

Despite a lot of positive high lights in my twenty-eighth chapter, there were a few low lights. Both involved heart ache that only comes with the passing of two people that have touched your life. One being my great Uncle. He was a quiet, but brilliant man. Loved history, and reading. Enjoyed the outdoors, and a good glass of rum. He was a strong man who lived well into his 90s despite smoking for years, and beating skin cancer. He lived a fulfilled life. A war man, a family man, and a woodsman. He is greatly missed but I know in my heart of hearts he’s with his brothers and sisters, as well as his beautiful wife.
The second. The second heart ache came recently and this was the loss of my “other mother”. An amazing woman that I have known since I was just in my fourth chapter of life. She had a smile that was contagious, and a positive outlook that you only dream to have. Despite her obstacle she was always positive and cared She fought cancer, as her daughter said “with grace and strength that none of use knew was possible”. It breaks my heart that she was taken from her family so soon, but I know she’s resting peacefully and watching everyone closely. She baked the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. Never, ever a competition.

I’m sure I could sit here and panic about how I haven’t accomplished this, or that, all while scribbling down what I want to accomplish by the time I’m thirty (thirty, now there’s a panic attack I’ll set aside for a rainy day). Of course I have a list of things I would like to accomplish before I am in my thirtieth chapter but realistically, am I going to be able to accomplish them all? Probably not. For example, I wanted to visit Europe before I turned thirty, but in reality, I WILL BE thirty when I finally visit Europe (first date: Kate, a good bottle of wine, and Mumford and Sons).

Goals for Twenty-Nine:
Visit Old Montreal
Take a trip to the USofA
Travel to Dominican or Cuba (if financially able)
Drop 20-40lbs and build some serious muscle tone
Get some colour into house
Get a new body modification

If you were to have asked me fifteen years ago, “Where do you see yourself when you are 29?” I would have said, “married with child” (and probably still unhappy). What would I have been doing as a career? I don’t have the foggiest idea what I wanted to do when I was 16. Possibly a legal secretary, or even a lawyer. Today, I want to be a psychologist, and happy. My life, up to this point, is not at all how I imagined it. Some people can say that, by this point, everything has gone according to their plan, but truth be told, I don’t have a plan. I’m floating through, grabbing at opportunities as I see fit. I have goals for my life, but I’m not frantically trying to accomplish them before I’m 30. Should I? Maybe. Am I going to allow myself to stress over it? Yes. And no.

Taking a deep breath, I accept that I am turning the page into my twenty-ninth chapter on Friday, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, right?

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