With a wardrobe and home filled with things from the past, I might appear to be a fringe Luddite. Yet, if the choice were mine — to live in any era of my liking — I would not change a thing. Are you surprised?
Yesterday was my birthday marking my life at thirty and one years old. Being born in 1980 suits me just fine.
Growing up, like most imaginative young girls, I played dress-up but for me dress-up entailed being a southern belle, acting out scenes from Gone With The Wind. Or with the evening summer breeze cooling my skin as I lay in bed, the nearby crickets would fade away as my mind created a portal into another world.
My dreaming travels took me back to ancient Rome, the Middle Ages of Scotland, the French Renaissance … then over to the New World’s settling colonies, the Wild West and through the American industrial revolution.
These eras often contained harsh conditions, as well severe limitations to myself as a female time traveler, but adventure always appeared in the form of hell-bent determination to survive the challenges at hand, while tactfully, poignantly and cheekily breaking that society’s mold for women.
It left me pondering, if I could go back in time and live the life of my choosing, what year would I be born? I spent weeks considering this decade over that century, this country over that territory.
Then channeling the wisdom of King Solomon, I decided that 1980 was the ideal birth year for me.
It was by being on this side of history that I could revel in each aspect of every previous passage of time until now, while still making a mark in my own time.
For many reasons, I believe where we stand today is a chapter in the history books that some girl born in 2080 will be dreaming herself back into.
It’s a time filled with unprecedented movement — class structures and economics are in great flux, the political climate has factious tremours and domino revolutions are afoot, inventions abound and are shifting our daily routines, and technologies are propelling a global citizenry into a race to stake a claim in their share of this new digital world.
So all the romance and adventure that my heart and soul have ever yearned for in a bygone year exists right here in every passing moment that I live today.
The question, though, is how am I choosing to live today — as a “peasant” who fades into the muck, clumped together for the era’s milestone, or as a “rebel-rousing peasant” who refuses to safely exist for merely bread and water.
Make no mistake, I am not doing things in my life just to be listed in the chronicles (or Wikipedia).
What I care about is living so that the dash between 1980 and that fateful other year is bursting with stories of unparalleled courage, love and beauty …
… So that the spirit of who I am and what I am about can appeal to a young girl 100 years from now and challenge her to live in such a way that her biggest wild-eye loves and fears can be stared down, conquered and fulfilled.
Happy Birthday and very Happy unBirthday to all of you! May you live like the biggest hero of your favorite story!