I drew this in kindergarten. I believe it was supposed to be a self-portrait, and I must say, I was pretty prophetic with my vision because this is pretty close to how I’ve felt the past two months. Not much is different in the dental region, and I clearly thought my eyes were my best quality. Feet were not nearly as important to me as hands or a blouse that buttons down to the crotch, and I lack hair and ears but to be honest I still don’t mess with either of those much to this day.
My old kindergarten teacher gave this back to me when I was in the fifth grade and had ventured down to the other side of the elementary school to get my little sister at the end of the day. Besides complete embarrassment, I was surprised she held on to the drawing for so long. She must have taught hundreds of kids since I had gone through the system, and yet this stayed in a drawer of hers somewhere. Can you blame her? It’s a masterpiece.
My mom saw it fit to be stored in my baby book, too, along with my baptismal gowns and first communion certificates. Among blessed artifacts of Catholic sacraments is my green monster, neatly folded and tucked between cards congratulating my parents on my birth and lists of first Christmas gifts. I guess they both found it hilarious and stored it away to remind myself to always have a sense of humor, and maybe to not always take ourselves seriously.
I’m 30 today. Three-zero. A lot of people scoff at this milestone, or drink heavily (think the opposite of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series) because it’s the end of their 20s, the end of the decade where we could probably get away with not having a clue what to do with our lives or make dumb mistakes and be forgiven. I don’t. I’m proud to be thirty years old. Growing old is a privilege not many are afforded, and to be quite honest, I don’t think thirty is old.
Sure, my body won’t ever be the same and alcohol can’t be consumed in the same way, though I’ll blame all of this on my current pregnancy (you knew right? Ok, good) and not my age. I don’t believe I’m beyond the years where mistakes can be made and then forgiven with ease. I’m going to make mistakes until I’m an old woman in a home asking why the cafeteria can’t serve the good macaroni and cheese. We all will. None of us are perfect and with the way life moves fast and changes even faster, we are constantly trying to figure things out as we go along.
I’ll laugh, cry, be healthy, get sick, improve, struggle, overcome, succeed, and fail so much over the next decade, and then again in my forties and fifties and into my sixties. I’m not mourning the loss of time yet, I’m hoping for more and excited about what lies ahead, and if I am lucky and fortunate enough, I’ll get to live it all, green-faced and crooked teeth and all.
– S.A. Dees
p.s. Due to the pregnancy and forthcoming child I pray every day I won’t screw up its life, I’m taking a small break from school. I want to keep writing so I hope this site will sort of be resuscitated in the coming months. That is, probably until said child is born and then I’ll be too busy screwing up its life to post much. But hey, there is always hope.