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Carolyn Keep

Happy Birthday's vs. Happy Endings...

August is my birthday month. I don’t know how I feel about it. Age is a funny thing. I do chuckle about it some days, on other days I cringe. Here’s the thing with age… (And I can only speak for myself here and no other women - but I bet I’m not alone…) I LOVE getting older, but with the “older part” comes a whole lot of shit.

Expectations I put on myself, societies expectations of someone “my age” and the comparisons that come with that, comparing myself to others my age that have such different lives to the one I currently live…I mean seriously, I’m 12 days close to 34. There I said it. Did I think that at the ripe old age of 34 I would be planning a trip overseas? (I use the term ‘planning’ loosely as I still don’t know where I’m going, how long I’m going, who I’m going with etc, etc…) but NO I didn’t. Isn’t that what someone in their 20’s is meant to do? Be wild and free and not committed to anything other than finding themselves and their ‘place’ in the big wide world? That was certainly my expectation and yet, in my 20’s I found myself interviewing the “Black Eyed Peas”, Presenting a live TV show for 2 hours every Sunday morning with a 6am make-up call, hanging out backstage with Green Day, being asked out on dates by world famous musicians I interviewed *disclaimer, musicians mentioned not from Green Dayin case I get sued* (musicians who I’m sure weren’t interested in ‘dating’, just something that started with “F” and let me tell you, I ain’t no groupie, nor will I ever be…) I was getting flown to tropical islands to see how long I would “survive” with other “celebrities” (I use the word “celebrity” loosely.  In New Zealand a celebrity isn’t anything much on the world stage…sorry NZ celebrities…I include myself in there, so don’t take it personally. Big fish, very small pond one might say…) I was on the radio, MC-ing events, walking red carpets and feeling like a little bit of a ‘somebody’ when all I had to do was turn up and be myself. I didn’t do the university thing. I found myself on a whole other career and life path that I wouldn’t change for anything and yet, here I am, about to turn 34 and I wonder…if my path had been a little more ‘standard’ would I have in my life what I’m sometimes afraid I will miss out on? Yes I am envious of my friends who would appear to be with the love of their lives and having kiddies. Do I want that happy ending? Of course I do. My way of getting to that point however, has been somewhat arse-about-face…

I got to thinking, this might be one of the many reasons I have, up until now, filled an ‘emotional space’ with clothes. Making sure I looked good enough on the outside, to fill a little hole I felt on the inside. The fear that I might miss out on a family of my own, the fear that I might never meet and be with the man I choose for my life (and vice versa obviously…I mean I’d choose Ryan Gosling if he was available, but that doesn’t mean he would choose me back! Idiot.) And so, to feel good about myself on a very superficial level, I shopped. I was able to be the girl that my friends looked at and said “Oh, I like that, is that new? I love it.” And I would of course say “Oh this? Yeah just bought it the other day…you like?” I mean I obviously wasn’t able to compare notes on kids, or engagements was I?  So clothes it was - among other things… (My relationships with my girlfriends aren’t as superficial as talking about ‘just clothes’ by any means, but you get my point!)

I do believe the things that haven’t happened yet will be in my future, might be already in some respects, and I trust that time will tell with all of it…but until then what’s a girl meant to do? I don’t want to live a superficial existence, I want heart and love and joy in life, I want to give back those things to the world as well, and I don’t believe you get any of that by looking a certain way, having certain “things”, or being anything other than yourself. So, here I go, pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Taking some accountability for the choices I have made up until this point and being “mature”…I mean, isn’t that what someone in their ‘early 30’s’ is meant to do? I should have saved more in my 20’s…I didn’t. Now I am. I want to have experiences I didn’t have because of many reasons, an amazing career, spending habits, timing bla bla bla…so here I go, doing all I can to make my dreams a reality. 34, I am looking forward to meeting you. I am not doing, nor do I have what thought I would when I became you, but you know what? I wouldn’t change it for a thing. Right now, I could not be happier about my “now” or more excited about my future (including one particular birthday present I was told about today!)

My thought is, if anything, getting older brings me closer to myself, and with that, comes bigger dreams and possibilities, sure, along with that comes an even bigger fear of not having those dreams come true…But hey, without risk, there is no reward (or something along those lines?!) I say “Happy Birthday month” to me, and may my next year be just as awesome and full of exciting growth, experiences, opportunity, and wonderful people as the year that just was. To hell with the number of an age, I hope that at whatever age I am, I have an attitude that gets excited about what life has to offer…I also hope that in ten years from now, I am able to celebrate my birthday by being woken up with a kiss from the love of my life and breakfast in bed delivered to me by cute little “mini me’s” like my sister and I used to do for our parents on their birthdays. Until then it is what it is, and for ‘what it is right now’ I am truly grateful.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, but F that, there is absolutely nothing to cry about.(Although I really will miss shopping for a ‘birthday outfit’ this year…)

Caro x

Posted: Monday 4 August 2014


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