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Where We Live: Reflecting on birthdays gone by

I procrastinated writing this because there was always something else to do. I knew it had to get done, but I felt there was more time.

I’m not that way with everything. If there is a breaking news assignment, I am very eager to do it.

Lately, I have been preoccupied with my upcoming 45th birthday this month. Yes, you read that correctly. At times, it’s hard to believe I am that age. No big plans on the horizon. One should celebrate the big day. However, my mind lately has been drifting back to my 26th birthday.

Hearing or seeing the words “happy birthday” often takes me back to what I perceive to be the biggest mistake in my life.

I will spare you all the details, but I received the best birthday gift I could ask for.

However, I declined a job opportunity in the newspaper field due to a mistake that was compounded by the depression I was in because of my personal life.

Being a perfectionist, I have an aversion to mistakes.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” an editor told me.

I have tried to put this behind me. I closed that door because it was too full of emotion. I opened it recently because I believed it was worth the risk.

I asked a friend how I should deal with this very sensitive moment.

“What we fail to let go can hold us back. Keep at it,” he said.

Another friend said who I am today is a result of that choice. While this is true, it still hurts. This person means a lot to me. I would not be who I am today without her influence. I still remember exactly what she said to motivate me to write.

She told me I had “a lot of potential.”

I have only seen her once since then at a store. No words were spoken between us.

Common Pleas Judge Christina Hale remarked as she was sworn in Oct. 12 in the Schuylkill County Courthouse that “No one gets anywhere in life by themselves.”

She said the people you meet can change one for the better even if it is only a brief encounter.

We meet so many people in our lives and sometimes don’t give it a second thought what we say or how we interact with them. What you say to someone they can remember for the rest of their life.

As I sit here in my apartment in York writing this, my dogs are nearby. I have had the honor of being a dog mom to five dogs; a pit bull and four Jack Russell terriers. Chances are I would not have had that opportunity and all the beautiful memories if life had gone as I wanted. Two of my dogs I adopted in Schuylkill County. When I first moved to the county in 2011, I felt as if I had moved across the ocean to another country. It took about a year until I felt comfortable.

I have tried my own version of therapy by being more accepting of mistakes when I make them. It is a work in progress.