I have a very vivid memory of sitting in Mrs. Kuerner's class room in Davidson High School in 1980 and calculating in my mind the year that it would be when I turned 30. Memories were easier to remember from that classroom because it was one of three in the whole building that actually had air condition. This was mobile alabama (the third ring of hell and hotter) and if you think for a minute that schools are in trouble now..you should have seen a school that was built for air condition that had none and we were not supplied with toilet paper because of budget cuts. The vast majority of minorities at our school were bussed in, almost an hour, from an area called pritchett, and if you were not in honors classes, well, let's just say, life was not so pleasant! But I digress.
Here I was, in the air conditon, my kelly green polplin pants with the embroidered whale belt and penny loafers with the appropriately dirty penny in them...complete with starched white polo and monogramed LL bean back pack..I was in the company of my peers..or at least trying to keep up with them...and we ruled the world by our ability to live about it. Life was about the outside..what we could get..what we could have..what we had...who we were.."who are your people"...and defense..defense against reality. It was the time of Reagan after all. Glitz, glamour and LOTS of credit flowing out into the country...the age of the "most toys" wins was apon us.
It seemed an eternity, 30, and that seemed to be an age when life would begin to wane and I would be heading towards retirement. A lot has happened since then. Alot.
Ok..so I still have some of the same clothes (hey, the are classic and comfortable! LOL!)....but the values that went with them..they melted with Reaganomics. I am afraid that the falsehoods of "appearances" and "things"..never "trickled" down. I had to find out, through a series of episodes in life what really mattered. That is a whole other, evolving story..and I would rather live that than write about it.
But, here I am, this weekend..WAAAAY past 30...and there is no waning.
I will be 45 this Sunday and just last weekend, for the first time in my life, I broke a 10 minute mile in a race. This week, inbetween training at 6am, I have run four miles on the alternate days and it felt amazing! I have been exploring the waters that we are so fortunate to have on a kayak. Been tearing up the trails I was so blessed to be a part of. Active in areas and ways that I could never have dreamed. My outsides, my physical self...that is a blessing! But, this three fold self..the mind, the body, the spirit...it is finally coming togther more than I have ever felt. And there is a certain sense of self that I just never dreamed of. I am not afraid like I was. No, I am no fearless. But I am more secure...and self aware. I have a deep and abiding faith..a spirtuality that I feel. It is a lifeline. However, having that sense of self, requires me. It requires my particiaption and my ability to remain open to learning and listening (two things I do fairly welll..with some proding! LOL!). There is a comfort in that. I am going to do what I can do and if others don't like it..well, that is ok. I may still not like to displease or disappoint..but I know that I have to be true to myself. It, life everything requires daily work. Someone once said years ago "wear the world like a loose garment". That is my aim. As I am growing, there is SOOOOO much that pulls at me..at us. It is hard to stay focused, positive...it requires vigilance.
Who would have guessed that at 45 I would even have had the capacity. My birthday is not my celebration as much as it is one that I mark as a milestone to this journey..Anyone reading this knows that the "journey" for me is defined by the people, my higher power, and the things that come in teaching and learning along the way. I say it over and over that when Donnie gave me the gift of "branding" my journey "greater than through love and support"...he could have done no better. From this self centered, materialistic, kid of the 80s to where I am now....I have nothing but PEOPLE, through whom patience, tolerance, love, compassion, guidance, energy, intelligence, spirituality, and much more has come to me and given me this life. It is, I believe, true for all us..I am not by any stretch of the imagination unique, but I am, grateful!
Now...for my birthday..(you knew there would be an ask!...we have met, right?? Please make a donation to the heart walk! Cape Fear Heart Walk! GIVE TODAY!
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