I turn 39 today!
That’s a mind-bender of a sentence to type. The only person it might be weirder for is my mom as we seem to be, someway somehow, approaching the same age. I stopped my mom’s age somewhere between 45 and 48. She’s older now and thriving thankfully, but if forced to say her true age I wouldn’t have it in me because I simply don’t know. 60’s? It’s much easier to just pause at an age and mature gracefully from there. So… it’s odd that my mom and I are approaching the same age and I’ll just let it be that way. Most miracles can’t be explained.
Over the past few quarantine months? years? millennial? I’ve received emails from so many of you detailing how you first came upon Joy the Baker in the Mocha Coffee Cake days 12 years ago… back when you were in high school, or law school, or living with five other girls at University. It’s incredible, we both agree, the things that stay constant amidst the changes 12 years can bring. You tell me how you’re married with children and your life has changed completely but you still come here, and I still come here and truly we seems to have grown up together. I can’t tell you just how much these emails blow me away.
We’ve done so much in these twelve years. I’ve detailed a lot of those loves and moves and thoughts here along with recipes. You’ve had your own loves, and moves and big deal things alongside those recipes. We’re connected. It’s like we pinky swore a long time ago.
In some ways though… can I be candid? I feel left behind. Like I surely should have figured out a marriage and family by now and how could I figure out so much nonsense, so many different chocolate chip cookies, but not that important… like, very important thing?
Those thoughts are as scary as you might imagine. Maybe you’ve had or have them, too. But here’s the thing- those thoughts only creep in when I’m only thinking about the things that feel missing… (is missing even the right word?). And really, the things that feel missing are so few in comparison to the things that are present and available and bountiful.
There are reminders everywhere of the bounty around me, around all of us. Even here and now, in… “these times” as people are saying. This year, and really for the past few, I tried everyday to take limits off myself – to have as many lives, in this one life, as I can. To be curious about everything that crosses my path. That means I paint badly, practice archery in my backyard poorly, play piano much worse than I did when I was a teenager – all while laughing at myself heartily, and getting frustrated, and getting better centimeter by centimeter.
That’s where I’m at this year. I’m setting aside the small story I have in my head about my life and just doing it all – everything that sparks a sparkle is worth doing badly, then less badly, then maybe almost well. On repeat.
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell
And I just feel like who we are is so much bigger than what we let ourselves imagine.
That’s what I think this year. Next year, without doubt, will be and feel different. That’s the wonder of it all.
I bought myself a piano for my birthday. I just… stopped waiting.
Thank you for being here with such loyalty and kindness.
My love to you!
PS. This post went live two days early because of my very own human error. That’s the way of it sometimes. Lol forever.