Thursday, 29 August 2013 | 60 comments

How we fill our days

Age is a funny thing. Women, especially, spend a lot of time benchmarking themselves against age: you’re a failure if you’re 16 and you’ve never been kissed; your “biological clock” has been ticking for awhile by the time you’re 30; and you’re considered pretty damaged goods by the time you turn 50 (or so L’oreal would have me believe). On Monday I had an annual performance review at work. I was presented with anonymous comments solicited from colleagues: “shows depth of understanding beyond her position”, “far-sighted and pragmatic for her age”, “excellent judgment—beyond her years”. It’s meant to be flattering, but I left disconcerted.

People tell me I am an old soul, but if that’s true, I’m not a particularly wise one. Kind of like the next-door neighbor curmudgeon who is a little bitter and has very particular opinions about things that don’t really matter.

We’ve been restless for no particular reason (“Well, you should be, at your age,” said someone to me: “age-appropriate” rears its head again.) I’ve been throwing around phrases like “getting out of Dodge” (usually with expletives for emphasis), testing them, seeing how it feels to say it out loud. Ben and I go back and forth: what do we need and want? New jobs? No jobs? More money? More flexible schedules? New scenery? New ducks? (We’re trying that one, verdict is still out on if it fills the void, but ducklings are very cute.) Writing, in particular, is becoming a bizarre looming presence, a kid tugging at the leg of my jeans, wanting attention that I don’t have to give.

I’m reading works that, not so long ago, used to make me feel connected and intellectual. Transcendentalists, the old white New England guys, Emerson and Whitman and Thoreau: the cast of a 19th-century Wes Anderson movie. This time around, I’m irritated at their Manifest Destinies and their blind surrender to wild Nature. Where did Thoreau get his money, hmm? How did Papa Walt have such a flexible schedule? Nothing they wrote tells that story.

And of course, now as in the 1800s, that is the story. How we make our living and if it was easy or hard and if we want more money and how we spend it; how we play hooky and how we show up; how we put down roots and how well we transplant or graft ourselves. The story is if you listen to the monkey on your back or the annoying kid tugging at your jeans; if you decide to start over with more ducklings after the tragic raccoon incident; if you find the gumption to really get the hell outta Dodge.

“Listen: you are not yourself, you are crowds of others, you are as leaky a vessel as was ever made, you have spent vast amounts of your life as someone else, as people who died long ago, as people who never lived, as strangers you never met. The usual I we are given has all the tidy containment of the kind of character the realist novel specializes in and none of the porousness of our every waking moment, the loose threads, the strange dreams, the forgettings and misrememberings, the portions of a life lived through others’ stories, the incoherence and inconsistency, the pantheon of dei ex machina and the companionability of ghosts. There are other ways of telling.”
― Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

I turn 26 tomorrow.

Who knows what that means, but we’re shootin’ the works.

. . . . .
Recipe details & sources:
Pork shoulder: An enormous, 13-pound thing that no one would buy at the farm market. This recipe from Bon App is one of the best template recipes for pork shoulder, ever, and I tweak it depending on ingredients and the season. I make it ahead, refrigerate, and reheat very slowly the day of.
Eggplant stacks: Essentially this recipe, but I use oven roasted tomatoes and panko. Make ahead, bake the day of.
Tarbais beans: Technically the Rancho Gordo guys don’t call these Tarbais beans, because they’re not grown in France, but it’s my birthday and I like to feel fancy. Platters of perfectly cooked white beans with lots of herbs and aromatics and vinaigrette are one of my favorite foods. Make beans ahead of time, store in refrigerator in their cooking liquid, drain and toss the salad together right before serving.
Cucumber panzanella: Inspired by this Ottolenghi column from The Guardian. One of my favorite things to eat right now. The goat feta is made by my friend Molly down the street, but any crumbled feta will do. Make croutons and chop cukes ahead of time; toss together before serving.
Panna cotta: New obsession. I splurge on very nice bovine gelatin because the stuff in the store skeeves me out. Faith Durand is the queen of “bakeless sweets”; I adapted this recipe from her template by adding in chopped nectarine and peach. This is the only thing I will actually make on the day of the party.

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§ 60 responses to How we fill our days

  • Happy Birthday! And I love this post (and your blog). And I love that you’re feeling the tug of writing, because, clearly, you are meant to write. Listen to that insistent pull. And, if you’re like the rest of us, the story will keep unfolding and you’ll never know which direction it’s leading you… just follow follow follow….and be delightfully surprised.

  • Happy early birthday! As another 25 yr old, I think about age a LOT. Probably more than is healthy. I have the sneaking suspicion that this thought process comes from being a youngest child, and constantly too young for something, as well as a gifted kid, and constantly acting/performing “beyond my years.” Which all leaves me very confused as to where I should be and what I should be doing.

    My partner is 5 years older than I am, and in the past I’ve thought so much about how the age difference matters or doesn’t matter, especially considering his unconventional trajectory through school, compared to my very expected matriculation directly from HS to college.

    Obviously, I don’t have answers. But I think about the very same things. When is the right time for different life events? When will I stop feeling young? How do I fit everything I want to do in this one life? For what it’s worth, I’m surprised to find you’re the same age as I am. I’m often surprised at what other 25-yr-olds are doing, though, especially in the age of the internet where I just see the most put-together slices of life. It makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my own life.

  • Christine

    Happy birthday!

    I laughed at your description of yourself as the “curmudgeon who is a little bitter and has very particular opinions about things that don’t really matter.” Since I was 3 years old, family friends and relatives and teachers and the like have been telling me that I’m “articulate,” “advanced,” “mature beyond my years,” but I’ve always felt that I’m fooling them. As I’ve coursed along the inevitable trajectory of age, I have grown to consider my own outspokenness to be obnoxious, occasionally. Curmudgeon though I am, I’m working to be more broadly aware, less restless, and generally accepting of the fact that the figures whom I once quixotically admired did not lead realistic lifestyles, at least inasmuch as their stories portrayed it. Nonetheless, I intend to preserve my idealism as well as I am able, jaded and resentful though I may feel at my ripe old age of 26.

    Enjoy your feast! Thanks for sharing.

  • Louise Cattrell

    Hell’s teeth you must be a Virgo! as you are., as am I.Happy Birthday!
    I enjoy your blog very much.
    Life as it gives and flows the loss of Leslie Land is a major one,

  • I believe a little restlessness is healthy at any age. Enjoy your special day and meal, and your restlessness.

  • I hope you have a Happy Birthday! I was thinking about what you wrote the last few days but more in the idea of what is happiness, what makes us happy, what do we really need. I read that genetics make up 50%, work/money/occupation/status makes up 10% and our daily decisions make up the rest. I will be 30 in a few months and although I don’t feel at all that I’m in need to make the children choice at the moment, there’s other things I’m pondering what I need or what I don’t need…. I will stop for now.. but continue to think about this. :)

  • I rarely comment on other blogs (my shortcoming) but I’ve been following yours for a bit now and this post overwhelmed me with….recognition. I’m a grant writer for a small non-profit in DC, something I desperately care about, but my full-time job leaves me with the same nagging child at my pants leg. I’m closing in on 28 in a few weeks, which feels suddenly so close to 30 (which seems to mean something huge although it doesn’t really mean anything). At any rate, this post was said every word in my own head. Thank you so much for sharing – and happy birthday to you!

  • Oh dear. So I am damaged goods (according to L’Oreal anyway). Oh well. Have a lovely birthday! Despite our age gap I love coming here and it’s probably partly because you often say things that deeply resonate, so perhaps you are wise beyond your years :) Enjoy this delicious feat and keep paying attention to the kid tugging at the jeans.

  • Happy Birthday! If you add “Randomly hands out cookies and grumpily shrugs off all attempts at appreciation” to your second paragraph and you could be my twin. I’m a bit older than you, but the same anxiety is there. I think I may have figured out a solution for myself, but life keeps tripping up my plans to make it happen. So it is with utter sincerity that I wish for you to go and try that thing that you think will make you happy. You might find it or it might lead you to something even better, but the point is that you must be brave enough to try (just be sure to plan out a parachute for yourself in case things don’t go as planned). A bit of planning, a lot of daring, and you won’t regret the life you’ve led in your very distant dotage.

  • I think about age a lot lately, maybe because of my “she’s 31!” biological clock, maybe because of how often people are asking about age or talking about age, maybe because it’s just something we think about from time to time, that we’re mortal and our time is not unending. But I stopped looking at ages as landmarks last year, when i turned 30, ironically, and instead as gifts to count and rejoice in. I’ve been given 31 years! You, 26! Full hands we have, whatever exactly is in them.

  • I also just turned 26, and can relate to much of what it sounds like you are feeling. This year, I baked myself a cake for the first time. It just felt like the right thing to do. But last year it was a whole dinner, including a couple recipes from your site here ( I hope your feast is marvelous!

  • Wishing you an amazing 26th birthday. If it’s half as good as that menu above, you’re in excellent shape. Also, those questions you ask of those writers – thank you, been thinking about that myself for the last 2 years. It’s never fun thinking about finances, particularly when you’re often feeling like you’re just moving money around to patch this hole or that one.

  • I turned 26 some years ago and stopped counting. literally have to ask my boyfriend how old I am and it’s kind of embarrassing. we discovered I am 30 in the next year so maybe your menu will inspire me. Best wishes on your counting and aging. you do it so well.

  • Jessica

    I’m laughing at myself, because I thought you were closer to my age (32) than to 26. Although, having stayed in grad school until I was in my late 20s, I often feel *behind* my peers. Especially in things like savings accounts.

    What really drew me to comment is that we can’t decide, either, about the “big life stuff.” Do we want to stay where we are, or run for our lives? One day one thing seems right, the next day something else. It’s the good and the bad of modern options–thirty years ago, even, people our age would have known with a pretty high degree of accuracy how the entire rest of their lives would look.

  • Wow I can’t believe that you’re only 26. Ok I didn’t mean to refer back to your starting quotes…anyway all the best. Happy Birthday!

  • A friend who passed some years ago had a goal to live a different life every ten years. At almost 35, I see so much wisdom in this. As we learn, we grow, and we itch. Whether it’s a new gig, a new location, a new pair of pants, what have you, it’s there. Today, I consider it a sign that I’ve made some kind of progress, however slow. Being told you’re an old soul always seems to carry with it a sack of responsibility. Can I let loose, then, if I’m already past that age mentally? What about the days I actually feel 16? I’d venture to guess that your opinions, even if they don’t feel quite like your own just yet, may in fact matter quite a bit. It’s a bittersweet thing. But if you’re this far at 26, writing such great stuff, think where you’ll be in that next life, in 10 years. Welcome the itch. Enjoy that excellent meal. And happy birthday.

  • Well I have never had anonymous comments submitted from my coworkers about me. That would be odd, no? Unsettling. What’s not odd or unsettling is this KILLER sounding menu. And birthdays. Hooray! I hope it’s a truly fantastic, restful, most settling one.

  • Anne

    I loved your post until Yoh said you were 26 and I had to struggle to maintain your credibility. Ironic. Nonetheless: lovely post. Whatever you decide, keep writing .

  • Cheers for your delicious-sounding meal, and the dear ones who will no doubt share it with you. 26 is a wonderful age to be, largely because you can live in to that very restlessness you’re feeling and start to make some defining lines in your life where before there were just sketch marks. Enjoy your celebration, and your year.

  • Happy birthday and thank you for giving voice to the swirl of thoughts that often confuse and confound me. I wish you every happiness for the coming year whether you get out or stay in Dodge.

  • Beautiful, touching post. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your celebration.

  • Happy Birthday! I am 27 and frequently get comments on how young I look, or that I am too young to be on a career path, or have the hobbies/life practices that I have. My community of internet friends, mostly found through a shared love of knitting, are so much more accepting of what my life looks like. My real life friends find it odd that I garden, support local food, and make so many things from scratch…they are so skeptical and critical, because they think those are only things “old” people should do.
    I hope this year brings you gumption and happiness, enjoy the fabulous sounding meal!

  • I can certainly identify with this post as a young woman (23) who at 16 was told she too was an “old soul”. I still don’t quite understand what that means- and if it were meant as a) a compliment b) a kind of criticism ( like I spent too much time reading Jane Austen) or c) merely an observation. Also as someone who is nearly always the youngest in a crowd of friends I’ve come to the conclusion that age doesn’t matter half as much as people make it out to be. It simply is. On the other hand I’ve been living in Germany for the past year and this mantra of mine doesn’t quite jive with cultural expectations. In Germany people often don’t finish their studies before age 26 and are just starting their careers. I find myself afraid to tell people my age because I so obviously don’t fit the mold. So in a roundabout way what I’m saying is that when you choose to procreate, or change careers or plan for retirement it is your business and no one else’s. Enjoy your 26th- it sounds like a hell of a spread!

  • “get out of dodge” is my favorite saying and funny, i often think of you and virginia when i feel smothered here in southern california. let’s swap! :) happy birthday !! i hope you keep on writing because your blog is my most favorite of all the blogs i keep up with.

  • joan

    I am reminded often, me being one of three sisters, that things we say can be taken in a total different direction in someone else’s mind. Strange how that works.
    Life choices are complex at times, but we are fortunate to be able to change again if need be. So whatever you choose does not have to be the last choice. I work with clients helping them through the process of home health care, long term care, and medicare. Listening to them talk about the lives they have lived, stories told, makes me smile every single time, they may be going through a difficult time now but the good memories always remain. I’ve been told I am just a babe, and I’m 54, so it’s all in one’s perspective. :-)
    Have a wonderful celebration today!

  • i confess i thought you were older. i am approaching my 30s and still feel tugs of restlessness. i think it’s part of being curious and vibrant. now, on the brink of motherhood, i am perplexed by what i want things to look like. it becomes apparent that some things are just not as important as i thought they would be at this stage but that could change. i crave a simpler life. one similar to my the really good parts of my childhood. i want a mix of small town and rural. convenience and solitude. change and constancy. it is interesting little journey and i really don’t know how it will turn out. i have a stubborn faith that we don’t dream for nothing, though.

  • Amy

    Excellent essay, really fun to read. I’m often told I’m an “old soul” too–I always find this really strange as well, mostly because it seems there should hardly be a difference between the newest soul and the oldest… you’re right about how we like to benchmark age as the ultimate measure. I do, however, love love birthdays and celebrating them. Especially when it’s a nice excuse to think fondly of one another and to eat nice food and smile a lot. Which it sounds like you will be doing a lot of. Happy Birthday, Sara. x

  • josh

    Happy Birthday! I’m 41, feel like I am 20 or 70 depending on the day, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up….age is a number, not a definition. Thank you for your fantastic writing!

  • Margit Van Schaick

    Oh, Sara, what you call “restlessness” has been a constant in pretty much all my life! I call it a yearning to live–a full, adventuresome, meaningful creative life, one in which I can contribute, discover, and learn. Hopefully, experiencing love and true friends. Your post brings back memories of when I was 26, just returned from 3 years in Somalia with the Peace Corps and pregnant with my first of three daughters. Trying to raise those three children (mostly on my own, as it turned out) shaped the rest of my life enormously, forcing me to discipline my “restlessness” even as I kept trying to be true to myself. From the perspective of what I’ve managed to learn in my 73(!) years, I will only advise you to try with all your might to stay healthy and take good care of yourself! All else will fall into place. I should not forget to add that those three kids turned out to be the love of my life! Wising you all the best!! You have a true gift for living and writing about it.

  • Margit Van Schaick


  • Maggie

    Happy Birthday, Dear Sarah, Happy Birthday to You!!!!

  • Cheers, pretty lady, to the constant seeking. Happy Birthday.

  • Connie

    Happy birthday my dear… I’ve checked out the roads ahead and trust me, it just gets better.

    The menu is fabulous.

    For the record, Thoreau was fed and supported much of the time by the Emersons (particularly Lydian who was probably not asked but served up the eats as the Great Men talked and talked and talked.) I get impatient with the Transcendentalists. ;)


  • Miabella

    Happy Birthday!

    I turned 50 last month. No other age bothered me until this one. A big celebration with cajun food, a zydeco band and being surrounded by family and friends balmed my anxiety. :-)

    From reading your posts, I think you seem an old soul because you are so reflective about life at such a young age. The biggest changes I see in people are from the age of 25 to 30. I found the 20s to be about learning and absorbing tons of information with the 30s and 40s experiencing and executing all that acquired knowledge in some way.

    From where I stand now, the experienced advice I give my nieces and nephews is to keep an open mind and to live spherically by trying and experiencing many things. You can have lots of laughter and fun doing very important and serious work too. And most things you worry about happening, never do… so lighten up.

    You seem to be a very deep thinker. I was too until my mid 40s. It’s mentally exhausting if you are not applying that knowledge on a regular basis. All I can say is navel gaze and mind gum chew but then trust your gut and take a leap of faith…and experience many things. :-)

  • Oh honey, I feel your pain. I’m more than halfway through 28, but as someone who has nearly 10 years of experience in her field, I often get the “Oh you’re just a baby!” thing when I explain to professionals in their 40s and 50s (or older) who think I’m at least 5 years older than I am and are shocked that I’m “only” in my 20s. Having met a lot of SUPER immature 50- and 60-somethings, I can say with authority that age is really just a number and how you comport yourself and what experience you have are far more important than just being old.

    As for the restlessness? I feel you on that, too. I feel sometimes like I could do a million different things and do them fairly well, given the chance. But that’s risky, and in a day and age when being unemployed or leaving a job might mean permanent unemployment, or at least 6+ months (which apparently equal 3 lost years of earning power), money is much more important than I’d like.

    As a historian and an environmentalist, I also feel you on Thoreau. Inspiring though his writing may be, that guy dinked around in a field for years and when he got hungry and tired to looking at ants he went over to Ralph’s house and someone else made and paid for his supper (and cleaned up afterwards).

    But I also feel that in order to be creative and make art, humans have to have time to be idle. TRULY idle. Not just for an hour or two each night after work and housework and cooking. Like, whole days and weeks of idleness. Alas, idleness doesn’t pay the bills.

    That all being said, nothing is gained without some risk, however small. I work for a teensy nonprofit without great leadership and a 45 minute one-way commute. The money sucks, the commute sucks, and my boss is driving me nuts. BUT! I love what I do, I have a lot of free rein to be creative, and I’m good at it. I could never work for a souless corporation or have too much of a desk job or do one thing (accounting, I’m looking at you) for the next 10 years. I need lots of projects to keep my multi-tasking, slightly ADD mind occupied.

    But if you’re totally dissatisfied, maybe you should seriously look into change. And I mean seriously, not in that pipe-dreamy, utopian way I tend to look at it. Be practical and pragmatic and brutally honest and if you think it’s worth it despite the risks, then go for it.

    I hope “going for it” means more blogging and cookbookery.

  • Ah, to be in my 20’s again but, really, looking back, I wouldn’t want to be young again. Growing up I found myself becoming a nurse-which I hated, marrying and having 3 children-my marriage ended after 26 years in a spectacular and awful way but now, looking back, I am amazed at the totally different direction my life took afterwards. Something in me freed up and I become true to myself for the first time in my life. I had spent my life trying to please others. Can I also say that at 26 or so, the brain does this sort of shift and you can start to think differently. Maybe this is part of your restlessness. Anyway, here I am many years past my 20’s finally enjoying every day, open to new surprises, enjoying my children as adults, happy at where I am now. Get ready-your life is going to be full of the unexpected. Happy Birthday.

  • Jen Y

    I think it’s your perspective that makes you an ‘old oul’. I truly expected you to say you’re older than 26. And really, some of us are older than our age just because of things we’ve gone through. I am 47 & I think we all go through some years like you’re describing when we’re young. For me it was my 30’s so hopefully you’re getting it out of the way before I did. I do love my life so much more now that I’m past those ‘mind games’ I played with myself.

    In all seriousness – I think you should read the book of Ecclesiastes…all the way to the end because it talks a lot about what a waste things are until you get to the end. Then read the book of Mark . The perspective of these books have really changed my life for the better.

    Love your blog & the things you share!

  • Happy birthday, then. I’m quite a good deal older than you (41 this November), and I did life events on the Shabbat elevator schedule. I got off at every floor, just because the elevator stopped. That, or someone else must have pushed all the buttons. High school-college-grad school-marry-kids. I’m not sorry for any of the events, but I wish I had done them in thoughtful, measured order. I wish I had done them on my terms. No mind, though. My children will benefit, as I will put no pressure on them to do anything other than to keep moving: sometimes in the wrong direction, sometimes right, but always toward something that at least seems right and good at least at the time. All’s well that ends well—or even just ends.
    Your menu sounds lovely.


  • Mary Ann

    Happy Birthday, ,Sarah.

    I am older (69) and really have no advice except to love those you are with and to enjoy this day and relish your wondrful food and friends.

    May all your dreams come true…

    Mary Ann

  • Happy happy birthday. I hope it was a marvelous day and dinner. I’m so glad to read about another young woman frustrated by the constant focus on her age. People seem to think that “looking young” is a compliment for women. This implies that looking old will be an insult. I find the whole way of measuring women by looks and age degrading and demeaning. Let’s make our days count, and the years will add themselves up!

  • “Writing, in particular, is becoming a bizarre looming presence, a kid tugging at the leg of my jeans, wanting attention that I don’t have to give.” love the way you worded that – it’s exactly how i’m feeling these days. yet i still can’t find the time for it.

  • ce.leb

    I’ve been reading this blog for quite a time now.. I always liked the clean design, the beautiful tomatoes, and your writing. I imagined that you are a mid-30, living a life that seems nearer to something that i want than the one I have right now. I was surprised to read you are 26 (Happy Birthday), and I know exactly the thoughts you describe. I turn 25 in two days. I think so much about the quarter of 100 the last days and weeks. What I accomplished. What I didn’t. What may lay ahead, what I can change, what would be the next step. If my decisions are the right one. And what people have done at my age in their own life.. if they have done it better. If I really can make a choice, and a change. I hope so much for it.
    Happy Birthday.. and maybe we can stop thinking at this one day!

  • geezi

    It seems I am going through similar confusions at 33. Does that mean I am ‘immature for my age’? But the longer I live, the phrase – Age is just a number, rings true. At 25, 33 year olds seemed old. But at 33, I know i am young, fresh & energetic. :)
    Age is irrelevant. Happy belated birthday!

  • Rachel

    Happy birthday. You might like this guy – the title of his blog is “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.” This one is particularly relevant given this post:

    I really love your writing. Even if you are restless, your writing feels like something in which I can rest, if only for a small moment.

  • yes! write! and continue to do good things and work.

    they tell us to use our youth with good reason. it’s not something we get back, apparently.

    i appreciate your blog because of your writing. it’s genuine and kind, which are two things the world could definitely use more of. i’m not as gifted as you in the writing department, but i sure as hell would read anything you put out, for whatever it’s worth.

    may your next year be even greater than the last.

  • Ah, I missed this post. It turns out we have the same birthday and are the same age (however important or not that is). :)

    I wonder if we ever really stop feeling restless. Graduate school can be an uncertain path (the chances of getting a professorship are not good ones, anyway), and spending time with junior faculty, I often wonder whether I’ll ever be as settled into this life as they seem to be. Anyway, I hope you at least get new ducks.

    The menu sounds crazy good. Hope it was a wonderful day for you!

  • Thanks for your beautiful post! I have been reading your blog for a year now, and have sat silently without comment, but a birthday is always a good reason to reach out and say hello across country and continent. Happy birthday, and thank you for all the inspiration over the last year for food and good living. I am also in my mid-twenties, and often pretend at work that I am 10 years older. Sometimes I feel like I did something wrong having a good job, a full kitchen, and friends in their 30s, but then I also remember that I was unhappy as a barista where everyone thought I was older. I can’t win. Sometimes I wish I was rambling across Thailand, but lately I have realized that maybe I still can. I think “more play” and “contented work” will be the themes of the next few years. Happy birthday, and bonne chance. Thanks again for the lovely inspiring words.

  • Katie

    Like so many others, I find your posts really resonate. I’m here in the metro DC area, having just had a baby and moving to the suburbs. Many days, I feel like I’m living ‘in between’ – neither the hip urban dweller I thought I’d be from my teenaged years, nor the rural homesteader I’d fantasized for in my twenties. My husband and I vacillate between ‘sticking it out’ or running. But in the meantime, I live on my quarter acre lot and commute every day. Either way, I have this magnet on the fridge to remind me to enjoy all the moments, even if they aren’t the ones I imagined:
    “For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. ~Souza”
    Happy Birthday!

  • i remember turning 26 and thinking wow. wow. is this is? am i here? where am i trying to go? but it was a beautiful year. and each year after has been so beautiful – rich – challenging – revealing.

    i’m 29 and just started midwifery school after years of saying someday. it feels strange yet powerful.

    follow your heart.
    be kind to yourself.

  • I just happened on this site this morning. I am 75.5, seems to be a way others are identifying themselves. I belong to an organization that has for many years supported older lesbian women. They have a section of their work wherein they record the lives of older lesbian women who have lived through the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and are still living but very changed in many cases. So they asked to interview me which will happen in a couple of days. In preparation for this I began to write my life story. I followed their outline of family, leaving family and leaving family to go out into the world. I choose to share how I came to consciousness in my life. At every age I remembered who I was and how I was either confronting as a very strong young woman because of all the homophobia that caused great pain in those days. It’s interesting to me that now people are coming out from sports figures to actors, etc., still scared, but with some protective laws in place, seeing what it feels like to just be themselves. I can’t think of a gift larger or more important than to leave your life story to those you care about and love. It has been a fascinating journey as I wrote stories of difficulties and also joyful events that happened in my life. I hope to be able to add to these now 3 2″ notebooks full of Carol’s life!

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