Sunday, January 1, 2012

When I'm 33

On my thirty-third birthday,  we were in Makaha Valley, where I grew up.   Just as the sun was rising, I went walking alone and barefoot, the red dirt under my feet.  I remember trying to imagine what I might look like in my thirties.  We used to watch the show "Who's the Boss" and I thought I might look a little like Angela Bower, the mom on the show.  I thought I'd have some sort of busy career and be the typical working mother.

Angela Bower.  Nope, I don't think I look much like her.Maybe it's just the tall hair and giant glasses.
Instead, I really look a lot like I always have.  There are a few more wrinkles around my eyes.  I went to college for a few years, but left to raise a family.   I'm a homeschooling mom, a writer and an artist.  It's kind of a conglomeration of all the ideas of what I thought I might become as a career woman.  Because I loved languages, English, history and art, I thought I might as well be a teacher, because there wasn't any other practical way I knew of to use those things.

Today, I am able to talk and discover with my children and husband every day about history, languages, cultures and how modern society works.  The things we learn always seem to open a new understanding in our minds, leading to further questions and discoveries.  In school, my favorite part of English class was the essays.  I loved how they forced me to analyze what I had read or learned.  This is what writing does for me today.  It allows me to look at my life and the world around me: to condense it into words, to try to understand its meaning, its joys and its hurts.

And art is of course a part of my life today, in my photography, spinning, felting, but also in the snowflakes Saraiah makes, the careful things Maia decorates, the things Eva crochets, the Lego animation Isaac does, the songs on Levi's lips and the computer code running like the Matrix in Brandon's mind.  I think the need to create is in our DNA.  We're always trying to emulate the beauty and complexity of God's creation, even if it's through words, carpentry, cooking or number crunching.  To facilitate the messy and important work of creation is probably one of my most important tasks as a mother and spouse.  It can help us to get to know God through our moments of deepest passion, interest and frustration because when we are helpless, we can only beg Him for some insight.  When we are pleased at a moment of triumph, we can remember when He said, "It is good."

So the actual factual me at 33 is good, I think.  I'm not the nebulous idea, but flesh and blood.  I'm experience and wrinkles, mistakes made and lessons learned.  I'm attached by the heart to six people I didn't know just 14 years ago.  I'm old suffering and new life.   I'm hope and curiosity, frustration and kindness.  I'm a wife, a mother, a friend, and a girl after God's heart.

To be fair, I am not certain I took this picture.  I was taking pictures of this sunset and so was Brandon.  I think we both used the wide angle, but it's all mixed up in my mind.  This was also obviously not taken on the walk the morning of my birthday, but at sunset one of the days in Hawai'i.  It's just too beautiful not to share. 

This was taken by Brandon at the Honolulu Zoo.  I love it.


  1. Lovely essay, Angie. I especially like the description of the 33year-old you.

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the 1st picture of the feet!!! It's eery and cool and I just love it.

  3. LOVE it!! Love your last paragraph..."I'm old suffering and new life" I love being your friend!

  4. I, too, feel the need to create! For me it is the beauty of the written word, the composing of thought into sentences. I love how you describe talking and discovering with your kids. Some of my favorite moments growing up were talking with my parents about how life works, it's a legacy I seek to pass on myself. Thank you for being faithful to create. I love to be the recipient of the fruits of your creativity!


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