46 Is Only A Number

46 Is Only A Number
Rachel Birdsell

Rachel Birdsell

It’s that time of year again, when I write about turning another year older. This year marks having 46 years under my belt, and I’m happy to say that the belt is only slightly bigger than it was at 26. So, what have I learned in the past year?

I’ve learned that sometimes when you return home after being away for 30 years, things will click into place that have been out of joint for a long time. All of the unsettled parts of you will begin to settle.

I’ve learned that being patient is not only a virtue, it’s easier now than it’s ever been. Being patient is comforting, and it brings solutions and ideas that I wouldn’t have received if I’d rushed through whatever it was that I was working out or on.

I’ve learned that life is much better without worry. The majority of my life I’ve made worrying an extreme sport. Now I’ve figured out that if something is bothering me and I can’t do anything to change it, worrying won’t change it, either.

I’ve learned that while there may be things I’m good at, it doesn’t necessarily mean they make me feel fulfilled. I am a graphic artist, and while I enjoy doing it, I want to help people more than just making pretty graphics for them. This has led me to think that it may be time to go back to school.

I’ve learned that thinking about going back to school makes me feel like being at the top of a roller coaster right before the big drop.

I’ve learned that no matter what is thrown at me, I’ll be okay. Heartbreak doesn’t last and sometimes it’s the best thing that can happen to me.

I’ve learned that knitting isn’t as hard as it was when I tried it 10 years ago. It could have something to do with that patience thing I mentioned earlier.

I’ve learned that having time alone is necessary to my well-being. I need quiet time to reflect and sort out my brain.

I’ve learned that love is a choice rather than just an emotion, and that it’s one of the most important choices I can make.

I’ve learned that people will surprise me in the best ways if I give them enough time and space to do so.

I’ve learned that while some of what I’ve learned this year may be things other people knew at 26, we all learn different things at different times. The important thing isn’t when I learn something, only that I finally figure it out. I’m grateful for the past year I’ve had and I’m looking forward to another year of learning, laughing and loving life.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at rabirdsell@gmail.com.

Categories: Commentary