So it happened. My birthday arrived. It had a fair bit of fanfare thanks to the wonderful people in my life. I know the burning question on your mind is…well? Do you feel different? I think not. Kind of disappointed actually. When I turned 5, my birthday was held in my Grandparent’s Rumpus Room.
|Noun||1.||rumpus room – a recreation room for noisy activities (parties or children’s play etc)|
Do you know a single person OTHER then a grandparent who uses that term? Maybe my mom, but I digress…
My Aunt, who was 15 at the time, my Mary Poppins, and was the party planner. My friends from school came, we played party games like pin the tale on the donkey, we all wore party dresses, knee socks and black patent shoes. We drank pink lemonade and ate cake. At least I think we ate cake. I clearly remember the party, opening gifts but don’t remember the food. I do remember thinking I wish could see these friends more often – and not just the one my mom thought I should play with (I never liked her, but our families were friends – you know how that works). Having a birthday in the summer was not optimal for returning social obligations. Friends were away, or I was away and often it made for a lonely party, but I always FELT different. Older, smarter, taller, and happy.
Today led me to wander down to the Edmonton Fringe Festival in Old Strathcona. For those of you who are new to this lingo – The Fringe is described as a Theater Arts and Entertainment Festival. You see street performers and show up at venues to watch plays. You take your chances and can see the best show ever or one that makes your ears bleed. Either way, worth the time and effort to find parking. I brought my 12-year-old daughter. She takes all day to get ready so we arrived about 4.00pm. Too late to attend the kids Fringe. So we hit the main stage. There was a gal who traveled all the way from New Zealand to be at OUR Fringe – that amazes me – Edmonton’s Fringe! She was standing on two fellows, Kyle and Sam, and hooping with 6 hoops. Very amazing. At the end she spoke of the degree she has and how proud her parents were when she became a psychologist. Then she went to clown camp and had way more fun. She said DO what you love and love what you DO. It was an “AH HA!” moment for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job. It affords me the summers off, I meet amazing people with extra ordinary lives, it lets me appreciate the life I am given, but I don’t love it. Not once have I ever woken up from a deep a fabulous sleep dreaming about Chris Pine saving me from a Borg ship and thought WOOHOOOOO I get to go to work today! Yeeeeessssss! I cannot wait!!! But I do wake up, drink coffee – copious amounts really – and think hmmm it is a nice day, maybe outside for gym. But I have always wanted more.
Due to circumstances in my life that have led me to this point, I never finished my degree. If I regret certain things, then I would be missing out on the wonderful things I have. So I am not going to waste time going down that road. However, it is not to late for me to change that small detail. So, in keeping with my goal of being a tourist in my own life, I Robyn – the Edmonton Tourist – am going back to University at the age of 43. Now lets not get all crazy and think this is my dream degree. Noooo sirreeeee bob! To do that it would mean leaving my family and moving to Toronto to go to Ryerson. Sometimes you have to compromise on the goal to make it work around the people you love most. For me, the degree is huge. The extra cash that comes with it will be sweeeeeeeet! Will I love my job? huh…. likely more than I do now, but I seriously doubt I would choose it over fighting Davy Jones with Captain Jack all warm and cozy in my dreams. How many of you out there are living the dream? How many of you cannot wait to get to work every morning? If I held up the Romper Room mirror whose hand would I see? OH COME ON! You seriously LOVE your job? If it’s true then tell me about it! I would love to hear how you choose that career path and what makes it so fantastic! But if you are like me and just like your job, I think we are pretty damn lucky.
So back to your question: Well? Do I feel different now that I am 43? Bravery has poked its head out and is taking me by the hand to seek out new adventures and challenges. So, here is me changing my tune. Do I feel different? Yes.