Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

When I wake up tomorrow morning I will no longer be in my 20s. The approach of another decade has weighed on me throughout this year. And while October is my favorite month, the beauty of it's been a bit skewed this year as I emotionally adjust. This morning Jeremy prayed that I would learn to be comfortable with me age. I know that I will, but for a just a little while I'm going to mourn the passing of my 20s.

I look at my life and feel like I've let myself down because I haven't accomplished enough of anything to count for how many years I've lived. I suppose this isn't really true because accomplishments can be very quiet and unassuming, but it is difficult for me not to compare myself to all those around me and fear that I am falling short.

This past week's been frustrating at work because of little things. Last Wednesday a 9-year-old girl asked me what was wrong with my cheek. I am daily frustrated and embarrassed by the fact that at my age I still struggle with acne. The nature of it has changed and it has definitely improved, but still it is there. Always. I've taken the approach of trying to pretend to myself that others don't see it. But then a kid comes along and essentially points a finger at my face and says, "That's ugly. What's the problem with you?" Now, in truth this girl just asked me like three times what was wrong with my cheek and after vaguely trying to answer, getting more embarrassed and the girl just not getting it, I finally looked at her and said, "It's really not polite to keep asking." But, oh to be reminded of my imperfections!

Then yesterday afternoon when I got to work I was greeted by a co-worker with a reprimand, this co-worker is in no way my superior. She is someone I struggle with and one of a few women at work that seem to relish pointing out others faults. The conversation went something like this:
Co-worker, "Hi. How are you?"
Me, "Oh fine. How about you?"
CW, "It's been quite the morning." (This is all said in a chipper voice with a smile on her face.)
Me, "Bad?"
CW, "Yes. On Thursday night you ran the wrong tape from the cash register and that totally screwed up today. So, you really need to watch out for that."
Me...completely taken aback, I remain silent. I've worked at this job for two and a half years and I've never run the cash register tape incorrectly. I'm not denying the fact that I made the mistake, but I did not need a talking to.
CW continues, "But, other than that the day's been fine."
Me...mentally sighing and taking a deep breath. After my co-worker left for lunch I happened to glance at the cash register and there next to the key position for running the correct register tape at the end of the night is a teeny-tiny blue square of tape. As if, after this long I have suddenly become an idiot and don't know how to close out the cash register. This sort of encounter is very difficult for me to deal with. I 100% know that I make mistakes, but I am intelligent and the work I do at the library doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence but some of the women there make such a big deal out of minor little thing. I really have to hold my tongue.

But back to turning 30. I guess I need to embrace whatever comes next and try to fill my life and time with positive living. Back in August as I realized how close the end of my 20s truly was, I set out to make some positive changes to my daily schedule. I now get up by 5:30 a.m. (on my early work days, a bit later for my other days) and do 20-30 minutes of yoga and my daily devotions before Jeremy gets up and I prepare breakfast. I'd originally hoped to add some writing time in there as well, but so far my brain isn't alert enough to do that. However, this small change has made a big difference in the way I approach my day. And it's reminded me to stay more calm throughout the day as I interact with co-workers, argue with patrons about fines, and try not to be embarrassed by kiddos. (An aside, really, it's not all bad. There are just phases.)

I've rambled on long enough about all of this. If you've read this far, well, thanks for listening. :) Tomorrow I start to learn to embrace a new decade of life that will include my many imperfections, as well as my daily attempts at positive living.

Here's to the beauty of October--a month that I'm happy I was born in--and another year of life with God daily directing my path!

7 comments: said...

I haven't had the privilege of knowing you for all 30 years, but I've happily known you for 8 or 9 (can you believe it's that long!?!)! Here are the things I can see you have accomplished in 30 years: a deep and rich relationship with God (one that inspired me in college and still inspires me now), a wonderful marriage, family that are your best friends, friends that are honored to know you, excellent pieces of writing (I know, because I've read them), a job that you might not love but that you work at with honesty and integrity, a good attitude, a healthy lifestyle, amazing cooking abilities, a desire to be intentional and to follow through on things, a giving, humble, generous, and sweet spirit. There is much much more, but you are incredible! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

jeremy said...

Hey sweetie! Happy Birthday. I thought this was one of the best blogs ever. As you know, I love old David Bowie. Well, this is one of his lesser songs, and I think it puts into words what I think. It is called "Amazing".

Amy K said...

Stephanie, I agree with! Happy birthday!!

Alaina said...

Hey Sis! I found the passing from 20s to 30s a little tough, you remember. :) However, I will say, I've gotten used to it and it really isn't sooo bad.

I love you, I'm so glad that you are not only my sister but also one of my very best friends. You are an amazing and accomplished person whom I admire very much! Can't wait to see you this weekend!

Heather L. said...

I didn't realize this was your 30th birthday! I too found it a milestone I wasn't completely excited about and probably analyzed too heavily, and now feel like 40 is WAY closer than I'd like (probably since husband is already there :( I hope you get more comfortable with it as the year goes on.

I can't imagine how hard it is somedays interacting with the public all day long!!! Maybe you've taught the little girl a lesson......

liz nelson said...

you are one of the best, most thoughtful people i know and i am so thankful for the wonderful sister and friend that you are. it might not mean a whole lot coming from me, but i think you've accomplished a lot in your 30 years. happy birthday!

Margaret said...

I'm late, as usual, but you're amazing! I'm also late on the birthday card....I got yours though. It's coming. I'll be doing a mass mailing tomorrow. ;D Can't wait to see you!

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