current location: home sweet home
current mood: pensive
Today is my birthday. Turning 40 is incredibly strange. My friend R. reminds me that in Judaism, all wisdom starts at 40. I like that concept. It's definitely better than 40 being the end of my "cupcake years," as my cousin M. told me. Of course, I have no idea what "cupcake years" are supposed to be. It does make me feel like I'm missing out on something, and I'm assuming that something is good. If so, I don't know if the last several years were cupcake-y. I don't want to rehash all of the reasons why I've spent more time down than up. I don't want to re-think moves that, in retrospect, were not the best. I've spent years doing that.
I hope that wisdom does begin at 40. Perhaps by the big 5-0, I'll feel more confident that I've gotten closer. That's the plan, anyway.
I dug out a poem that someone distributed to the parents when I was in middle school. Perhaps you've encountered elsewhere, gendered differently. I kept this on my bulletin board for years, and I think I still need it. I think I probably always will.
To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk rejection.
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life
is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing,
has nothing, is nothing. She may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but she cannot learn, change, grow, or love. Chained
by her certitude, she is a slave. She has forfeited her
freedom. Only a person who takes risks is free.
It's time to take more risks.