It was my birthday this weekend. And I had an amazing time. I also did a lot of thinking. Maybe it's the whole growing old and reflective thing. Many people wished me happy birthday (which I do appreciate) but then so many of them felt the need to tack on that it was 'all downhill' after 18, 21 or some other arbitrary number. And it got me to thinking.
The phrase 'it's all downhill from here' can be a very contradictory phrase. If a person is talking about having concluded the hard part of a task, then 'it's all downhill from here' can imply that the hard work is over and now they can just coast downhill. In that case, it's a good thing. On the other hand, it can imply that you've gotten to the summit or climax of something and there's nothing else that can be as good or as exciting. When 'it's all downhill from here' was being tacked on to 'happy birthday' it felt as though it were the second meaning - that all the excitement was over and that there was nothing else wonderful to look forward to.
And I thoroughly disagree with that. I just turned 25. While we cannot predict the future, if all things are equal, I have more life to live than I have already lived. Most of my life is still ahead of me. And that, in and of itself, is something exciting. My life is not perfect, not by any means. But I think it's still pretty great. At 25, I have a wonderful husband who tells me that he loves me every morning. I have my dream job, with amazing students and a great boss. I have a cozy apartment that I love coming home to. And I have the best friends I could ever ask for. To me, that's pretty great and I am so thankful for all these things.
But I have so much more in life to look forward to still. I'm looking forward to being a mother one day. To Mr Caramel and I buying a home together. To getting a dog. To buying a car where I like something else in it besides its price. To showing Mr Caramel the beautiful island where I grew up. I still have so many dreams left to fulfill. I still have so much life left to live.
So, no. Life is not all downhill from here, now that I've lived quarter of a century. In no sense. I'm not going to be coasting downhill because all the hard work is over. I've still got a lot of work to do. And I'm not going to be going downhill because I've seen the best that life has to offer me.
As I wrote this, I was reminded of a relatively old song, Natasha Bedingfield's 'Unwritten'. I am still so excited about life - what it is for me now and all that's left to come. And I hope that I never lose that excitement. I hope that I never stop dancing in the rain or skipping in parking lots. I hope that I never stop looking forward to what's unwritten in my life. I hope that my life is not downhill from here.
Here's to another quarter of a century!