Birthday Shmirthday

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I turned 45 this month. Neither of my parents wished me happy birthday. Their silence carries its own message: “We don’t celebrate your life.”

Now, if I were, say, Hitler, I would totally understand. I’d be like, “No offense taken.”

I suppose I can’t really blame them. I’m very judgmental of their parenting. They, likewise, reserve the right to be disappointed in me as their child.

But here’s the thing: I don’t lie, cheat, or steal. I earn a paycheck and am a contributing member of society. I’m not a burden on anyone else.

My primary fault? I speak my truth. I’m over the hill – I can’t live to please others anymore. I’m living my truth.

My midlife crisis is less of a crisis and more a series of dares, borne of an inspirational quote that I really took to heart: “Do something every day that scares you.” Hence the leap of faith in changing jobs, trying standup, driving in NYC (something I had always refused to do), taking solo mini vacations in Providence, central NH, and Long Island. I’m not letting fear hold me back anymore.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” So said the novelist, George Eliot. That’s the commitment I’m upholding to myself at this stage of my life. I’m finding out who I might have been.