March 28, 2014 by Beth Hess
But I’m still all my other ages, too.
I’m still just past 2 — becoming a big sister — a role that rocked my world in nearly every possible way but also blessed me beyond measure.
I’m still 10 — sleeping over in friends’ basements and playing hide & seek outside the church.
I’m still 13 — navigating my 7th grade year with all the awkwardness and ungrace of a typical preteen. The year a best friend moved away. The year my grandfather died. The year our church lost the only pastor I’d ever known.
I’m still 16 — feeling the freedom of alone time in a car and experiencing a different kind of freedom by discovering a gift with words.
I’m still 18 — spending my first night alone in a college dorm, dreaming of, but never really being able to imagine, how the next four years would forever shape my faith, my friendships, and my future.
I’m still 22 — moving across the country to a city where I don’t know a single person for a magazine that hasn’t yet printed a single page — and I don’t find that crazy at all.
I’m still 23 — falling in love with a man named Thom. Learning and laughing. Stretching and growing.
I’m still 26 — grieving a conception that won’t come and falling into a deep sadness whose shadow still lingers at my edges.
I’m still 8 days shy of 31 — birthing my only child and letting my heart be forever grown and broken and patched back together with his smile. Over and over again.
I’m still 34 — changing careers and wondering for the hundredth time just what I will be when I “grow up.”
I’m still every girl I’ve ever been. In every place I’ve ever lived. With every role I’ve ever held. Loving everyone I’ve ever loved. Each year, each day, each girl bringing me to today.
Today ALL of us are 40.
Some days I still feel the confusion of 2. The carefreeness of 10. The angst of 13. The freedom of 16. The naivety of 18. The adventure of 20. The wonder of 23. The pain of 26. The joy of 31. The transition of 34.
Some days I still wonder if we’ll make it.
Most days I know we