Upon turning 22, my friend declared that “22 is halfway to 44 which is halfway to 88 which means you are halfway dead.”
(We are clearly no longer friends.)
Birthdays are kind of like New Year’s—they make you reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’re another year older. And another year closer to 88.
On the day of my 28th birthday, I couldn’t help but compare myself to those I love and admire more than anyone else in the world: my parents. I think about where they were at 28. And at this age my mother was married for 6 years with a two-year-old and another on the way.
If my life was supposed to follow those breadcrumbs, the birds clearly had a 28-year feast and unknowingly I stumbled upon the long, scenic route up the side of a steep mountain.
While I would be blessed if I had even 1/100 of the character my mother has, my life has not followed her blueprint.
I ain’t my Momma.
Chatting with another single friend the other day, I decided expectations for young adults are like kitchen cleaners under the sink to little kids. It’s just not fair that the blue stuff that looks like a huge jug of blue raspberry Kool-Aid is locked away behind childproof cabinets—seemingly unattainable. But here’s the thing: turns out that stuff may not be the best for us anyway.
My life and the lives of my single friends are not the lives of our parents. But our lives aren’t wrong. They’re different.
I’m single. I’m living on my own. I’m pursuing my passion for writing. I’m really great at making cereal for dinner.
I can’t help but compare myself to those I love most—and I pray that I have even a fraction of the love, faith, and character that my parents do. But I know You have different plans for me than you had for my father and mother.
I ain’t my Momma.
This year’s Olympics have left me more depressed than a vegetarian at a Brazilian steakhouse.
And I’m not talking about the fifth snowflake-ring debacle, or the times my countrymen haven’t nailed their triple sow-cow twist and shout ice skate thingy. I’m talking about follicles.
Actually, the lack thereof.
You see, Shaun White and I were meant to be.
We have the same exact hair.
Well, we used to.
I’m not lamenting the fact that he was the Samson of the skateboarding world, and with the loss of his locks came the loss of a medal. No, I’m lamenting the loss of what our Christmas card would have looked like with us and our six children:
(It was inevitable at least one would pop out with recessive genes.)
For the sake of our future spawn and holiday greetings, consider this a passionate plea, Shaun White, to grow out your locks like Rapunzel once more.
I’ll be waiting.
Well, 28 years ago today you decided to have me pop out into the world on a cold foggy day with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and my weight matching that of a popular convenient store chain.
I’d like to first give You a special shout out for creating me even before my parents did. You knew the plans You had for me even before my parents knew my gender. You knew how many hairs were going to be on my head even before the “no that’s not a perm that’s her natural hair” afro phase.
But I’d really like to thank you for blessing me by bringing me into an amazing earthly family. For parents whose love rivals the depth of Loch Ness. For a mother whose warmth is greater than the Sahara. For a father whose humor is better than any late night with Jimmy Fallon. For parents who have shown me unconditional love. For a mother and father whose kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, encouragement, support, and guidance has helped form who I am today. For parents who lovingly guided and instructed me on a path to You.
My heart swells with love for them like a balloon to the point of bursting.
Thank you for blessing me with parents who reflect in real and tangible ways the characteristics of You.
It’s February 14.
You know what that means:
It means we should be celebrating our singleness!
Instead of lamenting what day February 14 is, let’s look at 14 reasons why it’s great to be single!