Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Twenty Seven

Twenty seven always sounded like a good age to me. Twenty seven simply seemed like it was a 'perfect' age. Both in the years that preceded reaching that goal and the (almost) twenty seven years after attaining it.

If someone woke me from a deep, dark coma and asked me how old I was, there is a fairly good chance that my answer would be "twenty seven" because I felt that age for decades. I would be surprised to look at a document that had my age in black and white and it said "forty seven" for all the world (and me) to see. Forty seven?! I would be taken aback for a moment before I realized that the numbers did not correlate with my inner state of aging.

For me, twenty seven was a year of making good decisions. That is not to say it was a great year. It was a tough year. Within a month of turning that magical age, I left my marriage (for the third and final time) and my dad died. Within two months of that same birthday, I moved my family-of-three (me, along with my nine year and four month old sons) to a new province and found a new home, job and daycare.

The drama that unfolded during the first and second month of turning twenty seven was daunting. Ending a marriage can be a volatile time and place. Things got explosive. It got ugly. Hearts and vows were broken, never to be the same again. Sometimes, things have to get worse before they get better. This was one of those times.

It was frightening to start over in a brand new world. I had abandoned a secure and long-time job, friends who knew and supported me, a house that was no longer a home (and a pile of material possessions within it) and my mom and brother. I came to a city where I knew my aunt and uncle (and a handful of cousins who I knew by name only). It was scary and lonely. But it was necessary. That moved changed my life and quite likely saved it at the same time.

During my twenty eighth year, I rebuilt our home. No, I didn't build it from scratch. I built it from within. The collection of donations which furnished our new home became serviceable items to eat, sleep and sit on. My life had been stripped bare and it was so plain to see, all that really mattered were my children. We were tucked away in a safe and quiet oasis of 'starting over'. It was exactly where we needed to be.

That twenty eighth year was the foundation on which everything that followed has been built. It was solid. It was a year of making good decisions. The benefits were yet to be seen and there would be some more rocky times to follow. But the year of being twenty seven was the basis on which I was rebuilt. It will forever go down in my own personal history as being my most life-changing year.

When my Oldest Son turned twenty seven, he was just starting a course which rerouted his life. He learned a trade which enabled him (not only) to pay his own way while he went to school, but it resulted in a job which has provided him the lifestyle to which he has aspired towards (quite likely, ever since my twenty eighth year, when he lost all of his worldly possessions, friends, community and family when I uprooted him from a life which was killing-us-softly). Twenty seven was his turn-around year.

At the same time, my nephew (who turned twenty seven, five months before my son) was taking some of his first steps towards his own personal goal. He was pursuing his career in comedy. He has taken that ball and ran with it. He is my hero. Not due to his success and fame. Simply because he pursued his dream and made brave and bold decisions to keep pursuing it. I would say he has done pretty well (but then again, I am pretty biased). To me, success is in the pursuit of your dreams - not necessarily attaining them. He started to make this choice his reality in his twenty eighth year.

Yesterday was my Middle Son's twenty seventh birthday. He has had some pretty lofty hopes and dreams. He has gone boldly where he has never gone before. Time and time again. Before his twenty eighth year, he started his own company. He gleaned an education from that experience which I challenge any university to rival. There is nothing like Life Experience to teach you things you will never forget. He bought and (with the help and support of His Girlfriend of many, many years) has moved onto their farm. They are building a 'life' quite literally from the ground, up. He has picked himself up and carried on, despite the odds. He  has experienced more in his first twenty six years than a lot experience in a lifetime. Because he is not afraid to try.

My son is heading into his twenty eighth year with a lifetime full of his own experiences. These very experiences which have taught him so much, have also left him a little gun shy. He has made a few adjustments to his life-as-he-knows-it and is also on the precipice of restarting something new (from an old experience).

Even though My Son is in a vastly different place than I was (or his brother or his cousin) as he steps into his twenty eighth year, I have a good feeling about this. Especially as I recall my own twenty eighth year as the foundation on which the rest of my life that followed, was built.

In my humble opinion, age twenty seven is a very good place to start. Happy Foundation Building Year, My Son. I can't wait to watch your year unfold.

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