I met a friend today. We haven’t seen each other for a decade. The last time we met was her wedding day, we said goodbye in a marquee, disco in full swing. She and her husband were heading off to teach overseas, we were preparing to fly to Canada for a two week vacation.
She is now getting ready to celebrate her tenth wedding anniversay, and has two young children. My children have grown to adulthood, our job roles have come and gone, I have faced health crises, marriages ending and beginning, life re-evaluation, and further major changes are on the cards this year.
We drank coffee and ate cake and tried to cram ten years of everyday life into an hour. I left feeling thankful for the reconnection and dizzy at the amount of change that has taken place in the past decade.
I have a tendency to criticise myself. The whole story, when laid out for inspection, looks piecemeal. A scattering of attempts and trials, ventures that didn’t quite work out as planned, unexpected dead ends or U turns. I can see this as inconsistency on my part. An inability to stick to one path. Or I can see it as life. And how we respond. Knowing when its time to quit and start over. They have been ten very full years. I have lived what feels like double that time in terms of experience and internal shifts.
Today I want to give myself an award. I will stand at the podium and invite myself to the stage. Today I will receive an award for ten years survival, for overcoming unexpected obstacles and maintaining my sense of humour. For raising two children to adulthood and still holding onto a shred of my sanity. For not being afraid to try new things and equally being able to admit when I’ve made a mistake. Loud applause. Resounding cheers. And for you too. We made it this far, who knows what we’re capable of next.