Saturday, August 14, 2010

count your blessings

And they'll be no need for tissues
'Cause there will be no further issues
If you got someone who miss you,
Man, count your blessings.

I've got love and assurance
I've got new health insurance
And I've got strength and endurance
So I count my blessings

And give thanks to the master
That through all the disaster
We're still here together after
Better count your blessings

~Nas ft Damien Marley
"Count Your Blessings"


Three decades.
Thirty years.
Ten thousand nine hundred and fifty seven days.

You would think I now consider myself old. Truthfully, when I think about the number I do feel old. This is the age we are supposed to fear, right? So why am I not scared, worried or fearful? Am I still keeping up the trend from my teens and twenties of never doing things when I’m supposed to? Maybe.

I can vividly remember a certain day when I was seven. I was playing with my Barbie with the amazingly crooked bob hairstyle with fresh bangs I cut that morning and Derrick, who was just a Ken doll with brown hair and highlights, but cooler because he was marketed as a bass player in a punk rock band and wore a neon green shirt and black tie. Even as a kid if it fit stat quo, I wasn’t having it. My mom was there in this khaki skirt outfit with a huge lion on the back and a red plastic bracelet- her coolest outfit ever to my seven year old Leo self- and I asked her “How old are you, Mommy?”. “Thirty-seven.” Her answer horrified me. Mommy was fly, she couldn’t be… *gulp*… in her THIRTIES?! That meant she was old. That soon she would die. That her life would be over and when that happened, who would buy me a new Barbie whose hair I could cut off? Silly and trivial- but I was seven, what do you want? I’ve been scared of turning thirty ever since.

Fast forward to the two thousandth and tenth year since they say the big homie, Jesus, was born. As of August 6th at 5:37pm, I am officially thirty years old. The family I started with loves me just as fiercely as ever- and is growing to include a new generation that I sit in awe of. Friends I’ve had for years are still my most loyal confidants and cheerleaders, even as they have watched me tear myself apart. It’s possible there is a new opportunity for me to explore the world coming over the horizon (keep your fingers crossed). And despite yet another klutz related injury and the presence of some pounds I was supposed to shed long ago- my body is now that of a non-smoker after twelve long, stinking years.

While I cant say I didn’t have a small moment of mourning for the mistakes I’ve made thus far on the beautiful marble bathroom floor of a hotel in New Orleans or that the lack of acknowledgment from a few people I’ve cheered on over the years didn’t hurt just a little - for the most part I feel so at peace that I’m not quite sure how to handle it. Nothing in my life is as I imagined it would be at this point, but I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t have the life that has materialized. It’s not perfect. Shoot, in a lot of ways its not even ideal- but it makes me smile. When I think of what’s in store, that smile turns to a laugh. Even though a lot of days I ask if I’m on candid camera, I’m happy in knowing that the universe thinks enough about lil ol me to punk me on a regular basis. I must be doing something right – so I count my blessings.