17 years ago today, at 7:50 a.m., my first child was born. I remember 17 so well. More than any of her previous birthdays, this one is killing me.
When I was 17 I was hardly ever at home. I was in the drama club, so I spent a lot of time at school rehearsing. I didn’t spend much time with my family during that time.
When I was 17 I met the boyfriend I was with off and on for the next two years. Another reason I didn’t spend much time with my family…
When I was 17 “Sexy and Seventeen” was my theme song. The boyfriend took me to the Stray Cats concert and we got matching t-shirts. I wish I still owned mine. It wouldn’t fit me, but it would be kind of cool to let MY 17 year old wear it.
I don’t feel much older than 17 most days – just 17 with more responsibility. And a lot more experience… and a lot more confidence in who I am and what I’m all about. It feels funny to write that, actually. I’ve been unsure of myself for a long time so it has been kind of a fall-back to say that I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. But the truth is, I already know. And better than that – I am actually already that person, for the most part. I don’t think any of us should ever quit learning, growing, moving forward… but it’s really, really satisfying to know that I have accomplished a lot and that from here on out everything else is just the cherry on top.
When I say I’ve been unsure of myself, I don’t mean that I haven’t been self-confident. I think most people I have known over the last dozen or so years would say that I have always seemed very sure of myself and that I’ve had a lot of self-esteem. But what I mean is that although I have been optimistic and I have always looked to the future and had the expectation of success, I just haven’t known where I was headed exactly. I just did what came along and was the easiest thing to do at the time. I think I’m ready now, finally, to move forward with the confidence I need to do things that might not necessarily be the easiest things for me to do. I feel that I am more focused on reaching goals. SETTING them, then reaching them. Not just accepting whatever works at the time.
I’m working on a list – several actually. I am making a list of home-improvement projects I want to complete over the next six months to a year, and a list of books I want to read, and a list of writing projects I want to work on, complete, and send off to publishers. I can’t let another year go by and think “what did I DO last year??” At the end of 2009 I want to look back and say “Look what I did!” even if the projects didn’t come out as planned, or results weren’t achieved… I want to actually take action.