Wednesday 6 December 2017

A letter to my 38-year-old self

Dear 38-year old Miriam, 

it's your birthday today. You've been 38 for about 18 hours, which means you have roughly 8,742 hours left of your time as a 38-year old.
That's lots of time. Don't panic. 
Seriously. Stop with the panicking!

Okay. Deep breaths all around. Feel better now? Good. 

Let's reflect on the last 38 years for a moment, okay? Just for shits and giggles. 
I know you sometimes feel like you haven't accomplished that much yet. 
Let's recap, shall we?

Age 0: you are born. You beat millions of other contestants! You are a WINNER.
Age 1: you can walk. You have thick black hair and long eyelashes that make adult women weep with envy. You win at life.
Age 2: your little sister is born. The first truly traumatizing event of your young life. But trust me, you will learn to appreciate her.
Age 3: you rock at 30+ piece-puzzles. Soon, you will DOMINATE the 60+ set!
Age 4: you stutter. (Another low point of your young life.)
Age 5: you stop stuttering!
Age 6: elementary school starts, and with it, your time to shine.

Age 7: you love reading! Teachers like you. 
Age 8: you got kissed! He wrestled you to the ground and forced the quickest kiss in the history of kisses on you, but still, a kiss is a kiss. And Frank Hopperdietzel is the most handsome boy of the year. You go girl!
Age 9: you still love reading! (It was a slow year.) Teachers still like you. 
Age 10: you start at the advanced high school. Despite your worst fears, you make new friends. 
Age 11: you miss 4 weeks of school due to a viciously intense bout of measles. Your Latin grades will never recover after that. 
Age 12: you love reading! (Yet another slow year.)

Age 13: you get an unnecessarily bad case of forehead acne. (Really, world? WHY???)
Age 14: you get your first boyfriend. He will turn out to be creepily intense (insinuating killing himself in case you'd ever leave him), and your parents and sister will get really mad at you for breaking up with him, but - a boyfriend is a boyfriend, right? RIGHT?? (He never killed himself, fortunately. He is now a married father of 3.)
Age 15: you fall in love for the first time. And he falls in love with you! It's magical.
Age 16: still in love. 
Age 17: you blossom. Suddenly, you're attractive, for the first time in your life. Boys notice you! You feel powerful and beautiful. Closely followed by the panic that it will disappear as quickly as it appeared. 
Age 18: you go on a life-changing trip to France with your school. Not only do you discover wine and independence, you also discover another boy, heretofore known as "the favourite boyfriend".

Age 19:  you break up with the old boyfriend, and you're now with the new "favourite boyfriend". He is amazing. Life isn't. You don't know what to do, so you randomly choose to study Forestry. Nature, dogs, and guys? How bad can it be?
Age 20: turns out, VERY bad. You really despise it. 

Age 21: you broke up with "favourite boyfriend", and after a while, your parents introduce you to "great guy". You hit it off. Until you don't. Not only are you now single, your ex is also dating (and impregnating, and later marrying) your sister. And you're still stuck in that Forestry course you hate.
Age 22: you do the craziest thing you can think of, and fly to CANADA. The land of your dreams! By yourself! First time on a plane! You just need to get away from it all. Once there, you meet a man. 
Age 23: turns out, he's "the" man. You drop out of college (hurrah!) and move to Canada to live with him. Your parents are mortified. 
Age 24: you enroll in a Tourism program, and in September, you move to Wales to work at a 5-star hotel.   
Age 25: you get married (in the saddest wedding you have ever attended).  

Age 26: you're now a married woman, stepmom, veggie washer, and all-around clueless. Still. At 26 years old. How did that happen??
Age 27: you settle on a new career: x-ray technologist. In order to get accepted to the program, you have to get over yourself and go back to high secondary school. Despite your worst fears, it's not that bad.  
Age 28: you start x-ray school. 
Age 29: you're still in x-ray school. You may have gone on a trip in between, but you don't remember. All you know is that you breathe, sweat, live, and have nightmares about x-ray school. 
Age 30: YOU ARE DONE WITH X-RAY SCHOOL AND YOU STARTED WORKING!! Now, all you breathe, sweat, live, and have nightmares about is the hospital. Progress?
Age 31: you embark on several female friendships that will shake you to the core (more about this in your upcoming book). You also start having a serious case of indecision regarding the life-altering question: kids or no kids?
Age 32: you start this blog! It will change your life in ways you can't even imagine yet. Still not decided on the kid-question. Current status: guilt, resentment, indecision, despair.
Age 33: you get your corgi! She solves the baby-question once and for all. (Dogs and stepkids are enough for you! No baby-carrying required.) For that reason (but for many others as well, obviously), she will always have an extra-special place in your heart. 
Age 34: you're trying to figure out that work/life-balance

Age 35: you're having one of the best years of your life. Your job is great; you like your friends; you are at peace with your body; you have discovered yoga; you and your husband have an AMAZING couple-year. (You always love each other, but some years are harder than others. This is an easy one.)

Age 36: you FINALLY become a Canadian! It's a dream come true. Unfortunately, that aside, 36 is starting out pretty crappy. Work sucks, the weather sucks, nothing feels quite right. But that's good! Because it motivates you and your husband to finally fulfill your dream of moving into the wilderness

Age 37: you celebrate your first birthday in your new home! At this point, everything is still uncertain. You don't have a job yet, you barely know anyone, and to top it off, you're experiencing the toughest winter in 10 years. But you will find a job within 2 months, finish the book you've wanted to write forever, and make many new friends. 

So, dear girl, now you're sitting here, on the night of your 38th birthday. 
I know that you feel uncertain. That's your nature. You will probably always feel that way. But haven't you learned that you will succeed despite your fears? Haven't you learned that you are so much stronger than you ever thought?
The next 8,742 hours are going to be incredible

Just wait and see. 

Love, me 



  1. Happy birthday!! I hope the year 38 recap is something like, “Your book becomes a best seller, you master the most challenging yoga pose, and your relationships with husband, friends, family, and colleagues thrive!”

    I like this format and now want to do something similar with each of my years!

    1. Please do! Who doesn't love a good recap? It's fun to read and even more fun to write :-)
      I'm in love with your version of my future. Can't wait to see how much of it will come true ...
      Happy weekend, dear Amy!

  2. Happy birthday to you! I enjoyed reading this little recap of your life :) Hope your day is wonderful!

  3. Happy birthday! I enjoyed reading your recap of your ENTIRE LIFE. What an undertaking, I'm impressed. I'm quite sure that I would not be able to recall all those details <3

    1. Lol, the timing may have been off on some of them. My memory can't always be trusted. I guess the most accurate description is "based on a true story" haha!

  4. I missed your birthday?! I am sorry Miriam - happy belated birthday beautiful lady!
    in regards to the baby question? Pfffft... Liz Gilbert told Oprah in a Super Soul Conversation that ( I am paraphrasing here )... some women and meant to be mothers, others aunties and others should be never be let around children at all. There is nothing wrong with the women who don't have that maternal urging to have or hold babies.
    I loved that so much that I yelled out AMEN! while driving in the car. I mean -she and Oprah don't have kids and they are just fine! I don't have that maternal urge either. I was one and done. I would not trade her for the world. But I do think that if I did not get pregnant at 19, any future children would have probably been a reflex since that would have been expected. Make sense?

    1. Yes, it does, and THANK YOU for sharing! I'm at peace now, but for several years in my early 30s I wasn't. I felt really alone, like I'm the only one who feels that way. That's a big part of the reason why I share so much on here: to not feel alone anymore. And for others to not feel alone, either.

  5. Happy birthday!!! I adore this post and I am so envious of your life! The Mr and I have been dreaming of relocating to Canada a lot recently so that I can write full time and he can be all wild and woodsy... sigh. one day.

    1. If you really want it, it WILL happen! Keep believing that.
      Where do you live now?


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