45 and counting...

Trip Start Oct 26, 2007
Trip End Oct 26, 2009

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

March 2nd

Today is my 45th birthday.  I have never before been bothered by any number I've reached, but this one, for some reason... for some reason that may have something to do with being firmly on the other side, the down side, the youth of old age side.. who knows, but I'm sitting here marveling that I'm so OLD.  And yet don't feel so WISE or as if I have qualified for this advanced age.  Weird.

Anyway, here I am in Sydney.  Two of my favourite cousins live here - Donnacha and Marie Flaherty.  Donnacha has made Sydney (just rated the #1 city in the world - I read it in the paper, it must be true) home for about six or seven years now.  Marie arrived a month ago from Ireland to spend a year here working and traveling.  We met up this evening and had a great birthday dinner that was rife with rousing political and personal debate! My birthday was then made complete with a long-distance Happy Birthday song belted out by Esther Flaherty.. life does not get better! 

I loved New Zealand with its spectacular landscapes, friendly people, everything easy.. booking, traveling, doing.  But I battled with my solitariness in New Zealand more than in any of the three previous non-English speaking countries I traveled.  After reading The Alchemist in Sri Lanka, I asked myself "What's my personal calling?!" or what have I always wanted to do, known I should be doing .. since I was a kid?  Ever since I could read I wanted to write.  A little blue typewriter brought by Santa Claus to a shy, spectacled 10 year old was the greatest gift I ever got.  It's time I dusted off the cobwebs!  Paulo Coehlo is right.. we need to follow our dreams!  My birthday present to myself will be a laptop.. I am going to be more diligent with corresponding, creating, and doing.  

I've hit 45.  I'm unmarried, I have no children.  I'm not sure I ever did imagine, when I was in my teens or 20's, what I would be like, or be doing, at 45.  But I do know there were many things I assumed I would be - married, a mother, community focused, content.  Part of my rationale for leaving the job, selling the house, and hitting the travel trail was due to my noticing I was living but not LIVING, if you know what I mean

A friend sent me a note recently telling me she was impressed that I was "living large" and that made me smile.  You don't have to travel to live large, I know that.   But you do have to fulfill your personal legend.. as Mr Coehlo said!  Some of us come to our calling late in life.  That's me!  45 seems late.. but I think of Annie Proulx, who started writing kick-ass novels when she was in her 50's..!  yah!  I might start up a late-bloomers club when I settle down.  Maybe a biker-chick club, after mastering motorcycle lessons! 

So, life is good.  Thanks for keeping up with my travels.  Love to you! 
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