It's my last day being 37. Yeah, I'm being totally dramatic about it in a purely cynical kind of way.
I was thinking about it this weekend. Honestly, my life since I turned 35 has been completely awesome. I'm not sure if it was finally shedding all that weight I gained when I was pregnant/nursing/depressed, or maybe it was moving into a new job with a new boss, or the adventure of moving out of the office to the jobsite, or even moving to our new house.
It's almost hard to believe what life was like before that. We ran into our old neighbors, Steve and Kathy on Saturday night and I guess it really dredged up a lot of memories for me about our last house. We lived there for five years - five years that really didn't have a lot of joy in them. I sound pretty gloomy saying that, but it was an accumulation of things. We sold a house that we loved hoping to buy our dream house - the house sale didn't go through thanks to the psycho sellers, so we ended up settling on our second house.
Buying that second house was a mistake in so many ways. It was a longer commute. The house was beautiful but needed a lot of crap to be replaced (we spent thousands of dollars and replaced everything including the roof, washer, dryer, stove/oven, dishwasher, water heater, microwave). It was in an odd neighborhood - we did the classic mistake of buying the nicest house in a so-so neighborhood and then watched the neighborhood do a gradual nosedive into...well, not such a nice place to live. We were ostracized by most of our neighbors who were older with kids in high school and resented having two "youngsters" move into one of the biggest, nicest houses in the neighborhood.
It was lonely. I never felt like the house was a home. It felt like a huge weight that was slowly smothering my spirit, my laughter, my life. Then were all the unhappy years of infertility. The post-partum depression which made me feel like an unworthy person who had finally been given this wonderful gift but couldn't enjoy it at all. Losing my nephew which was such a stunning blow and left me questioning everything.
It wasn't a happy house.
Three years ago this month, we sold that house and were in the process of building this one. It was scary as hell - we had no idea how the house would actually turn out. We knew a few people that lived around here but really didn't have any friends. The mortgage was scary as hell. It was a pretty big gamble.
It's been one of the best things we've ever done. We've made possibly the best friends we've had since moving to Richmond almost 15 years ago. The commute isn't great, but it could be a lot worse and when I pull into our neighborhood every night I can't believe how lucky we are to live here.
I finally feel like we're at home. I haven't felt that way in a long, long time.
Anyhow, the last few years have been really good to me. Not perfect, but I finally feel like maybe I'm back to being my old self. And maybe there's a little bit of my new self in there too. When I turned 35, I was scared about what it was going to be like. And as I creep toward 40 it's a little scary, but exciting too.
I can't wait to see what happens next.