52 Weeks Until 50 years of age
I woke up to my whiteness at 45 years of age. At 47, I started a countdown. Two years have passed, I am now 49 years old.
It is my birthday. I’m 49 years old and now am counting down, 12 months, 52 weeks until the big 5-0. I am challenging myself to write and post on Medium every month of my countdown. Month 12, Week 48. Here it is. I’ll start with a little reflection of why I started a countdown when I was 47 years old.
I have always felt a bit of late bloomer. In my twenties, plenty of friends had marriage and settling down on their minds but for me that felt way too early. I was recovering from my childhood. I always wanted my own family and wanted kids, but I was determined to not repeat the patterns of my childhood. My stepfather was an alcoholic and my upbringing was painful. My twenties were about reclaiming, recovery, and healing. I was shedding a language of denial and teaching myself new healthier coping mechanisms. Ensemble theatre was my saving grace- an emotional playground to embrace vulnerability, a safe community to put all my parts back together.
When my thirties rolled around, I felt a bit rushed at the realization that there was an actual biological clock to contend with. I had been taking my time figuring out a career. I loved theatre, even though I didn’t make any money doing it. I planned my life around rehearsals and the possibility of future rehearsals. It seemed both career and dating were a challenge with my planning around this very time-consuming hobby that offered little money or stability. I started tracking my age, during the Y2K era. Both turning 30 and the turning over of the new millennia were underwhelming, but I did purchase supplies in case the world was going to end. I did apply to graduate school.
At 31, I packed up and moved across the country to pursue an MFA in theatre for self-producing artists. The degree legitimized my theatre-making habit to skills the outside world understood. My years in grad school were blissful! Hands down — therapy and graduate school are two of the best investments I have ever made in and for myself.
35–45, felt like a blossoming of those investments. I got married to my childhood sweetheart, we brought two amazing…