Kat, Sarah, and I have once again collaborated on Project Reverb — a prompt-a-day writing project throughout the month of December. Check out the Project Reverb page for instructions, and to sign up to receive the #Reverb13 prompts in your in-box daily.
December 6: Blowing Out the Candles: You’re another year older! How did you celebrate the passage of another year? Did it turn out the way you had hoped?
This year, after a couple of years of having my personal life turned upside down, there was a bit of turmoil in some other areas of my life too.
But I’m older now.
It’s not so easy to rattle me any more.
When I was younger, I was in a sorority. And I had to learn and recite the King James Version of the 15th Psalm. Every Monday night — week in, week out — there we would be, in rows of folding chairs in a too-hot room, badly remembering and barely reciting the 15th Psalm in our chirpy, coed voices:
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
Who shall dwell on thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly and worketh
Righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue,
not doeth evil to his neighbor,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.
In whose eyes a vile person is condemned;
but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.
He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury,
nor taketh reward against the innocent.
He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
And even as an adult, when I was a sorority advisor, suffering through a WASPy marriage, and driving my old-lady Jag to Staten Island every Monday, it was the same story. There we would be, in a too-hot room reciting the 15th Psalm each week — just barely remembering the words.
So this year, when — on my birthday, in fact — some important things changed, and my ego got crushed, and it felt like no one exactly understood what was happening, and I had to walk the long, hard road alone…I still made the choice not to be moved.
And I made the choice for it to be okay to have feelings about the stuff that was happening, and for it to be okay to be hurt, and to be repulsed, and to be stressed, and to be experiencing the exact things that were going on…
And while having strong feelings about what was happening was perfectly acceptable, being rattled off my base was not an option. While experiencing the pain — and growing pains — of the situation in which I found myself was A Thing, being undone by all of it was Unacceptable.
Because I worked too hard, and I came too far, and built too strong a foundation to be shaken off of where I am.
That is the benefit of age, I suppose.