Hi. I’m Nancy. The journals are mine. (Have a look at them up there above the title of this post.) They’re dusty because they haven’t been opened for twenty-five years. 25! But now’s the time. Let me explain…
This summer I will be turning the big 5-O. All my friends have been celebrating their fiftieths; but for some reason, I can’t seem to muster up excitement around my own milestone. It’s not that life is terrible, or anything like that. It’s okay. Actually it’s much more than okay. I have a nice husband, nice kids, nice home, nice friends. As they say, I can’t complain.
But still… something is missing…
Are you groaning right now? (I can’t blame you.) Even just a few years ago, middle-aged malaise stories made me gag. I would be the eye-roller at book group after reading something like Eat, Pray, Love. “Good grief,” I’d chirp. “Save me from these clichéd women. Can’t we read about someone interesting…?”
It pains me to admit it. I’ve become a cliché. But there it is. Truth.
How do the journals fit in to all of this? My birthday this year marks another personal milestone. When I turned 25, I left my job and set off on a year-long trip around the world. Armed with a very vague plan, a borrowed backpack, a few Lonely Planet guides, an empty notebook, a wad of American Express Traveller’s Cheques, and a ton of optimism and excitement, I began my adventure. This somewhat sheltered and nerdy English Lit grad promised herself two things about her time away: she would seize every opportunity to push her boundaries, and she would spend a part of each day writing down her impressions. She did both. It was the most exciting year of her life.
Yes, she is me… sorry to be confusing. But in all honesty, that 25-year-old she doesn’t feel much like modern-day me.
So to celebrate my 50th, instead of throwing myself a catered party or getting botoxed or going on a cruise or doing any of the other things my other pals are doing, I’m taking a completely different tack. I plan to relive my 25th year through my never-opened-until-now journals. I think it’ll be a hoot to take a close look at “1990 Nancy” through the eyes of “2015 Nancy.”
Will she seem like a familiar old friend or… (scary to imagine) a complete stranger?
Will she have anything to teach me?
Will I even like that young, perky bitch?
If you’re curious to find out, join me on my virtual adventure. I will be writing all about it right here.