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A milestone

December 4, 2010

Today is my 40th birthday. Officially, because of the time difference between where I live now and where I was born, I guess I have not been born yet, but who is going to quibble over a few hours?

It is interesting that this birthday, which is known in the United States to be a milestone, falls on the Sabbath, which is a day of reflection and contemplation, because birthdays are always a time for me to reflect. My birthday also falls during Hanukkah this year, or should I say that Hanukkah overlaps my birthday (after all, my birthdate does not change, but Hanukkah does). So it is a “jubilee” and a milestone, and a multiple of my day of birth (i.e., the 4th), on the Sabbath, during Hanukkah. Overall, I hope this bodes well for a good year.

I know I have mentioned it before that I contemplate my life. I admit that I do a lot of reflecting on my life and my decisions, in order to determine how to live a better life, to be a more loving person, and to be as generous of a person as I possibly can. I know that I do not always meet these expectations of myself, but I can say that I honestly try. For those who truly know me, they know that my outer shell does not always match my inner self – I protect myself with great care. This may be a failing, for people are not able to see who I really am – it is only by reading my writing, seeing my photos, and spending time with me that people learn who I am.

And, in looking back over 40 years, I cannot say that I have lived a life without mistakes or regrets. Yet even my mistakes have been learning experiences, and even my regrets come with the knowledge that though things may have been different had I taken the road less traveled, they may not have been better.

Five years ago, if you were to have asked me where I thought I would be right now, I probably would not say Ukraine. I was working in a job I hated, and about to switch to a new one, which would ultimately lay me off and start me on the path that brought me to Peace Corps and to Ukraine. So I look at my career path, which has not been a smooth arc at all, and now think, maybe those are the things I was meant to do to get here. Maybe now that I know what I want to do “when I grow up” I will be able to do it. Being here, doing what I am doing, is certainly a good beginning. Even on the very bad days, when I feel like giving up, I realize that I won’t because there is more for me to do.

I know my mother will be reading this today. To her I say thank  you. I do not thank you often enough for being there for me, for caring for me, for supporting me.

I would also like to thank my family and friends. In my life, I have met many people, but friends seem to be a rare breed indeed, and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Even those who I have not seen in a long time, or those I may not have even met, who show support – I mean you too! You all mean a great deal to me, more than you know.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2010 4:55 am

    Happy Birthday Karin!

    Yes, it is not easy finding the path we should be on but sometimes people are lucky enough to find it. I am so glad that you have found yours.

  2. Mom permalink
    December 4, 2010 10:03 am

    Those of us who are “thinkers” are often our own worst critics. Give yourself a break today and just “care less” about anything but having a good day. If you were here we’d have a good white Italian wine, or maybe a red German wine, some light food and celebrate all day.
    To all of you who are never certain if you are on the right path, I assure you, you are. A far greater hand is guiding you. If it feels right, somehow it is, even though it’s “not easy.” We all know inherently if we are in the wrong place. I think you are where you should be for now, Karin, and you will gain strength and find wonderful friends to cherish. Like your brother said in a previous post, “Screw (the rest of) them.” We all love you very much.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. December 4, 2010 4:51 pm

    Happy 40th Birthday little sister!!! Hope your day is a good one! We are thinking of you and love you!

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