15 + 15 + 3
Three times Eleven
Happy Birthday to Me!
Today I am 33 years old. Double 3. I like the number. It sounds happy. Fun. Skippy. And I am not afraid of getting older, so I have no fears of putting my age out there for all to see.
Ten years ago I was a first-year teacher. Working long days in a classroom, heading to a second job in the evenings at The Gap, then back to my school to direct the fall play. I taught Senior English to students five years my junior. Some of them are seasoned educators themselves now. Parents. Married. Own homes. But to me they're still those fresh-faced teenagers pouring over prom magazines, wearing football uniforms on Fridays, fretting over where they sit at lunch each day, and peeling out of the parking lot each afternoon. My first (of many, many) students. I had a small apartment then. 1/4 of a large Victorian house in a small Northeastern Ohio town. I drove a red VW Beetle. I spent my Sunday afternoons in a Borders Books Cafe grading papers, downing latte after latte, and reading any magazine hot off the presses.
Ten years prior I was in seventh grade. Deep into the throes of early adolescence. I was the definition of awkward. Giant red-framed glasses. A perpetual perm in my blonde hair. Giant bangs. I was a band nerd of the first degree. I read anything I could get my hands on. L.M. Montgomery was my writer of choice, and Anne (with an 'e') was my heroine. I had crushes, loved Boyz 2 Men, and watched Gone with the Wind at my grandma's house nearly every Friday (unless we were in a mood for Dr. Zhivago or When Harry Met Sally). I thought turning 13 would change my life. All it did was add body-image issues and angst. Oh, the angst.
Today I am 33. I am married. I am a mother and step mother. I am a school counselor. I have a home that feels like the perfect nest I always wanted. My life is nothing like I imagined and everything I ever wanted. Each day I consider myself incredibly lucky to have the life I do. To be married to the husband that I have, who makes me feel more beautiful than I could have imagined when I was 13. To have a son who fills our home with mirth that was so lacking in my lonely apartment when I was 23. To have a stepdaughter who shares my sense of humor and will keep me from fashion disasters. Yes, life at 33 is so much more grand. Happy of happiest days to me!