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Six months from today…

…I’ll be 40.

I’m not pointing this out because I’m fishing for compliments, reassurance, or someone to offer the platitude “but that’s still young.”

Young, old — I don’t care about these things, much.

What I care about are milestones and those moments when it makes sense to stand back — I mean really stand back — and reflect on where I’ve been and what progress I’ve made and to look forward to where I want to go. Forty seems like a good enough place as any to do this, as do the months, weeks, and days leading up to this milestone in my young-old life, depending on your perspective.

Yesterday was the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. I not only remember where I was on that morning like everyone else, but also remember in vivid detail the days leading up to 9/11. OK, not the whole days, but specific moments, like the fact I was printing out applications to places like BU’s and Brown’s graduate programs in creative writing, two programs I never ended up applying to when I finally did make the move five years later. I was essentially unemployed at the time, having left radio (the first time) in February 2001 so that I could write. I couldn’t have told you what a gerund was to save my life, because I hadn’t yet taught a writing class. Forgotten April was a “what if” question that had only recently occurred to me. In many ways I was a dreamy, but heartbroken pup on 9/10, and became even more so on 9/11.

But getting back to yesterday. Yesterday, I sat down and made a list of how I’ve changed and what progress I’ve made since 9/11/01. It was an interesting exercise to sit and reflect and stare out over my life’s landscape from the last ten years (plus one).

I’m a firm believer that what we’ll regret most in life as we take our last breath are the roads not traveled, the chances not taken, the “what ifs” never answered. I’ve confronted some of these in the last eleven years, but I still have work to do. And I imagine this is the case for most of us.

I haven’t blogged here in some time, but I’m getting back in the groove, having tackled Facebook and Twitter and this little thing called “book #3.” I’m ready now to get back at it, even as I still try to figure out exactly what I want this blog to be.

Here’s looking forward.

How do you celebrate “big” birthdays?

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