Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reflections, Resolutions, and the Big Four Oh

It's my birthday. The big 4-0. I didn't post a New Year round-up/resolutions post because, well, I didn't. So I'm going to do it now, all balled up with my holy-shit-I'm-40 post. I may decide this is too much personal information, at which point I'll take it down. *shrug*

I started this blog as part of an exercise in expressing my voice. There's a backstory, of course, but the upshot was feeling that everyone elses' stuff and voices were more important than my own. That I didn't matter. Sounds bleak, and it sucked. It's not a "poor me" thing; just how it was. Some of it was taught to me by others when I didn't know better, some of it was self-imposed as survival strategies that became less effective over time, and some of it was tied up in low self-esteem issues. I was getting by, and I thought that was enough.

In my 38th year, with my eye on the Impending Forty and catalyzed by a series of events that I have a hard time passing off as merely coincidental, I had a good hard look at my life. And I didn't like it. I wanted more... to be happy, for one. To pursue my interests. To find my voice. I poked my head out of the tiny little existence I'd built for myself, and holy shit, there's a whole amazing world out there!

I made a lot of changes. Left a long term relationship. Got back into reading and researching. Cultivated a social life. Applied for grad school. Piped up and pissed a few people off. Piped up and apparently scared a few people off. Piped up and got misunderstood some. Piped up and made some new friends both in person, via email, and in blog-land. Piped up and met some great people both within my field and in others that share similar research interests (also in person, via email, and in blog-land). Started taking pictures again. Had FUN! Ups and downs -- deaths, divorce negotiations, good days and bad days, neighbors who shovel their snow behind my car, health scares.

Overall, though, life is pretty good. I laid a lot of groundwork over the past couple of years, and things are looking up.

My resolutions for 2011 and my 40th year:
- Speak up
- Speak out
- Do things that scare me
- Get out of my head and into the world

They served me well last year, so I'm dragging them out this year too. Ya gotta do what works, ya know?


Clio Bluestocking said...

Happy Birthday! 40 is pretty awesome. My aunt told me that women are entering the height of their powers at 40, and she hasn't been wrong.

Ink said...

Aw, I just saw it was your birthday...sorry I'm late.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dearest Diggsy. Hope you celebrated in much style.

*launches ballons*
*unpops champagne*
*throws confetti*
*toasts you*

The 40s are pretty cool -- I agree with Clio. :)

Ink said...

That should say "ballOOns.

Unless...wait...maybe balloons with unicorns on them are, um, ballons? Yeah, that's what I meant! ;)

a.nony.mouse said...

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays (albeit, belatedly, you sneak!). Putting this in my calendar so I may pester you next year at this time. Great post. It took me many, many years to realize that I was entitled (and I choose that word purposefully) to be happy. F everybody else, and happy 40th. May it be your best year yet... :)

Digger said...

Thanks, all :)

So far, so good!