Tuesday, July 15, 2008

(Come Tomorrow) May I be Bolder Than Today?

So, hey. Guess what? It's my birthday on the 16th. I'll be recycling some old photos just for the occasion. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have enough old photos on blogs. If any of you want to feel free to post pics from your childhood or your parent's childhood, I promise to make a big stinking deal about it and oooooh! and aaaaah! all over them.

So, here's me destroying my sister's doll at one of my dad's studios. I'm not sure how old I was, but even then you could tell there was no hope of me ever growing into my cheeks.

Here is a photo of my mom and my oldest sister.

I am now the age my mom was when she died. It's weird to finally get here. I have no idea how my mom would have aged after this point, but she looked way better than I did at any other age, so maybe she isn't the best aging marker for me. My mom didn't have me until she was 33, which was pretty old in 1965, especially when we lived in Mormontown Arizona where all the other moms had their kids before they were out of high school.

I was my mom's last baby. Her blood pressure was out of control even at that young age, and she was basically told that if she had any more children, she could die. Hey, so I broke the mold, so what? I will say that I was very lucky to have my mom as long as I did. I'm sure you won't be too shocked when I tell you that I was one of those overly sensitive Cancer children who's feelings were constantly hurt. My mom used to say things like, "Here let me do it. That way I can't yell at you if it doesn't work out right." I loved that, because when I was young, I thought I was the only person in the world who made mistakes, and I would stress about it and there was my mom admitting that she did too.

Here's me at my dad's studio when I still had red hair. As I recall, this was taken shortly before he disappeared. I also have a vague memory that my dad threw me a surprise birthday party when I turned 4 and he would have been gone about a month after that, but you'll have to ask my siblings. They're older and remember that time better. I have a hard time sorting out the things that really happened back then, from the world I created in my head. In other words, I haven't changed a bit since I was four...Except I don't have quite as much red in my hair anymore.

Here's me when we lived in Alsip, Illinois. I think I was eleven here. (Please try hard not to be jealous of my denim wrap-around skirt) It must have been about a year after my mom died. I like to call the time after my mom died until I turned eighteen, my Dickensian years. No one called me Pip or Oliver and there was no Miss Havisham or Artful Dodger, but there were plenty of other similarities. The one thing I can say about those bad times is, that in comparison, my life now is almost perfect.

Every year I say that I'm so much happier than I've ever been, but I'd like to stop aging right here. Then I get another year older and things are that much better still. It's not so much that bad things have stopped happening to me, it's more that I'm getting so much better at dealing with them and putting things in perspective. Plus, I'm not nearly as hard on myself as I was in the past. So, now I'm thinking that this whole aging thing isn't so bad and I might as well just find out how much better my life can keep getting. Forty-three? Fuck yeah. Bring it on.

27 comments:

minijonb said...

"happy happy joy joy!!!"

happy b-day indeed.

Margaret said...

haaapppyyy birthday!

i love the old pictures and introspective glances into your life

you are beautiful

-RM said...

Happy birthday, and you're really hot for whatever age you are!

emmaenlighted said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I loved this post. And you still look like your eleven-year old self. Seriously. Except you probably have bigger boobs now.

evil-e said...

Happy birthday...I will wish it elsewhere as well.

You have lived in a lot of places, seen and done a great many things, and done some living all in a relatively short time. You came through pretty well from my perspective here in the bleachers.

Have a great day whatever you do for the birthday.

Remiman said...

Churlita,
Happy birthday! Eleven going on twelve, and look at how much you've accomplished.
rel

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

Happy Birthday!

...from a fellow Cancer;>

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Well this makes a lot of sense - we share the same birthday.

Happy Birthday!

Great post too.

jenny said...

YAY! Happy Birthday! These are such great pictures... and I actually do envy you your denim wraparound skirt.

Keep on rockin' your 40's, hot stuff!

Mr Atrocity said...

Have a wonderful birthday. I can't get you cake from here, so here's a picture of cake instead.

Susan said...

I'm crazy jealous of your jean wrap skirt!

I may find an old picture of me to post just for this occasion. Happy birthday!!

girl crush said...

happy birthday, hot stuff! i'm sorry i don't get to help you celebrate tonight, but i will see you saturday when we dance dance dance til our heads explode!

Minyo said...

Happy Birthday! Have a funtabulous day!

Cool post...there's something about getting older, that makes us all so much more introspective and wiser.

Tara said...

A Very Happy Birthday to You! Go do whatever you want, and if it somehow winds up with you in jail, just call and I'll come and post your bail. It'll be my gift to you, isn't that nice? ;)

Seriously, though, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! YAYYYY!!

Susan said...

pppssttt: Make sure to drop by my space today. Super special shout out to you.

M. Robert Turnage said...

Very happy birthday!

TexInTheCity said...

Your last paragraph made me cry. Happy tears...

Happy Birthday!
Tex

DJSassafrass said...

Hooray! Happy Bday-may it be filled with dance parties and cheestastic music!

NoRegrets said...

I hope it's a wonderful wonderful day and week and month and year. It is indeed a great perspective to think about how much better life gets as you get older. I agree... (writes the soon to be 42 year old)

laura b. said...

Happy Birthday, Churlita. I have a feeling this is going to be another 'best year ever'!!!
Thanks for giving us a gift everyday by sharing your life and your pictures and your extremely cool stories in your blog. You're awesome.

booda baby said...

HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY in the whole big world to you!!!! I tried, I tried pretty hard, but I'm aching for that skirt.

Maybe I just want to be that small again. (I mean, in my defense.)

I'm sorry you didn't have your mother very long and that there were some years when peeps weren't treasuring you like we do, but ... you got some amazing stuff from somewhere and a birthday is as good a day as any to say 'thanks' to you for you.

AlienCG said...

Happy Birthday, Churlita. You bear a resemblance to your mother. I hope you have a good birthday evening.

dmarks said...

Little churl!

Well, now I know that Alsip is more than that huge water tower I always see at a bend in the tollway.

Churlita said...

Thanks everyone for the nice birthday wishes and the coveting of my denim wrap-around skirt. I had a great day.

michelle said...

Hey Happy Birthday! If I look half as good as you when I'm forty something (which is not far away) I'll be happy!

Keep on getting better!

LA said...

Just like Mick Jagger, you don't get older, you get gooder.

Happy Birthday!!!

Rachel said...

I totally want your denim wrap around skirt