in which there are decades …

This weekend, I had dinner – well, it was more wine and charcuterie board, but I’m an adult and can call it whatever I want – with a friend that I’ve known since 1993. Nineteen ninety-three. I remember meeting her so very well. I am brand new to school and am trying to stay as quiet and small as I could, since everyone else has been friends since kindergarten. The last year in a Nashville public school had been a trying experience, to say the least, and private school is proving no different, even if it is only the first day. Someone hands me this little note on it, and I’m incredibly confused, expecting to need to pass it to another student, but no, this little girl with bright brown eyes and curly hair styled in braids smiles at me and nods. When I open it, I see, “do you want to be my friend?” It warmed my heart, and to this day, it still brings tears to my eyes. That was Carla then, and that’s Carla now. We’ve had our ups and downs, and there was even a fallout back during college, but we always managed to reconnect, although that was, at least until the last five years or so, mostly on her end. Our relationship will turn 30 this year.

It’s just so strange to me that things can be measured in decades now. Well, it’s been that way for a lot of things since turning thirty, but as I’m approaching forty, it’s started to be a lot more evident that the 1990s are not just ten years ago and that I can literally say 20 years ago and it seems like a blip, a sneeze, a quick walk around the block, or any other thing that only lasts a short while. The older I get, the more I realize that the theory of relativity is a real thing, if the speed at which time accelerates as you age is any indication (I know it’s more than that, so you can hush). I’m appreciative of the time I’ve had so far and honestly excited about what the years to come have in store for me, and I’m going to relish every minute, even the hard times. After all, I’ve survived everything that’s come before today, and I’ve come out of all of it a healthier, happier, more resilient person that I wasn’t even a few years ago.

And it’s not so bad, this whole getting older thing. I like actually knowing some things now and being okay when I don’t, and being in a position to offer requested advice is incredibly fulfilling. It’s a little weird to be called a person’s Work Mom, to be that overly prepared person who has extra hair ties, nail clippers (and nail file!), a random condom, several extra tampons, and Advil in her purse, but it’s a nice change from being expected to be a fuck-up. I somehow got through my youth and have reached middle age, complete with some crow’s feet and the propensity to hurt myself by coughing the wrong way, but like I said, it’s not so bad. I could still be that person I was a few years ago (not that she was shitty or anything, just hurting), but instead I’m working on myself and moving closer to my goal: actual contentment, not just settling for what is in front of me.

It’s going to be fun, I think.

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