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Monday, September 25, 2006

09.25

36

today is my birthday. i arrived 36 years ago today. my mom likes to tell the story of how she thought she had indigestion from a mama burger at a&w - but it was me.

as i grow older. and watch my kids grow older too. their birthdays seem to become more and more significant - while my own seems less and less. i completely understand why my mom likes to tell that story. my birthday is a marker in her life as much as it is in mine. don't get me wrong. i like the cake and the tradition of yummy indian food ordered in. and i love hearing those two little voices sing to me. and opening presents wrapped by little hands. but their days. the days that mark their arrival in my life. those are the days during which i seem to contemplate my own life more. so tonight we will eat yummy indian food. and i will listen to them sing. and i will mark the entrance into my 36th year with those i love the most. and then i will try and treat myself by going to bed early. and that will be that.

today also marks my anniversary of arriving in los angeles. i arrived 10 years ago today. (this seems much more poignant than turning 36! and harder to believe... 26 seems so long ago.) i vividly recall the day 10 years ago i drove down the 405 freeway in my little blue 1989 vw golf. i was coming for an internship at the getty conservation institute. i had applied for it on a whim, never thinking it would actually happen. i was living in toronto and very happy with how things were turning out. i actually had a job in the field i had studied. (ok, so i was supplementing it by working nights managing a cafe - but by day i was working in the field i had studied!) i lived in a great neighborhood. i had adopted this city as my home and planned on staying for a while. then the news arrived. i accepted. and i prepared for my journey to l.a. (how could i refuse?) i had no idea how big the city, or the job, really was. i couldn't find a place to sleep that birthday night, and ended up in a terrible flea bag motel (literally flea). i remember vividly calling my mom in tears questioning what i had done. (i had to get the inebriated motel manager to install a phone in the room after giving him a $25 deposit) the next night was in much better quarters and i soon settled in to my new life. (always reminding myself that it was only for a year and to make the most of this adventure.) 10 years later. here i am. still trying to make the most of this adventure. the internship turned into a temporary one year position. that was renewed for another 2 years. during which i met d on a tram ride up the hill. and the rest - how cliche - is history. my history.

amazing what can happen in 10 years. or maybe not, really. amazing what can happen in 36. (if you had asked me 12 years ago where i would be at 36 - i never. ever. would have said los angeles with an (american) husband and two kids. never. maybe two kids. maybe a husband. but i was thinking sheep farm with a conservation studio about that time...)

30 comments:

Kristina said...

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y !
Happy 36. Tracy....Steen is from 1970 too ;o)
Looks like you had a great day with the girls!

shanna said...

happy birthday dear friend! thanks for sharing a bit of history...amazing stuff. and just think, you never know what's around the next corner, in the next chapter of your life! cheers to you, i'll be thinking of you!

this single spark said...

A very happy birthday to you! So far 36 has been pretty good for me. I'm sure it will be wonderful and wooly for you too.

Feel truly blessed to have shared so much of your journey. I remember when you got the Getty job... can't believe you've been in LA 10 years. And yet... how could everything that's happened be squished into less than that?

Hugs and kisses from me and your little blue golf. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Happy 36!! Time and age is such a strange strange thing - at 40 I keep waiting to feel grown up....
Maythis be a wonderful year for you. And there is still PLENTY of time for sheep farms (and lama farms...and all the other kinds of farm I dream of)
much much love my far away friend! xoJ

devinemom said...

happy birthday! what a wonderful story of the past ten years. it is amazing where life takes us.

enjoy your day.

erin said...

happy birthday!

melissa f. said...

goodness--happy birthday! ah sleep, the gift that really gives...

-- love all of us.

stephanie said...

happy birthday! love hearing what you've shared here. where will the future take you and your family? exciting.

i think i'll go to bed early to celebrate your birthday too!

ps: my RSS reader (Firefox) is not showing your posts. so i missed the last couple.

Alicia A. said...

Happy Birthday, friend! I almost missed it, darned bloglines.

Sounds like your life has taken some amazing turns. I hope your path continues to lead you to exciting locations.

angelique said...

Happy happy! I know exactly what you mean about your kids' birthdays feeling more like milestones than your own... me too... and also about ending up so far from where you expected when you were younger. Can't wait to see where it all unfolds from here!

Alicia P said...

Love hearing that story. Happy, happy birthday.

Sam said...

Happy Birthday sweetie. I'm glad you stayed.

Toni said...

Well, Happy Birthday! You and I share the same birthdate! I'm 5 years older though.

I enjoyed hearing your story about coming to the states. As I read through some of your other posts I can see clearly that you are a passionate and dedicated mother, that is definitely something we share in common!

Hope you got to bed early*

gardenhoe/sara said...

best wishes to you on your 36th. I must say I have enjoyed your blog for sometime now, feeling the kindered spirit thing of mothering,creating and being Canadian. But I must say that the connection got closer as I see that 10 years ago you worked at The But, and where was I you ask? Doing the cafe thing at Cafe LaGaffe on Baldwin street. Cue Twilight Zone music now please.........

carol said...

Happy day to you!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading what brought you to LA. I actually had applied for an internship with the Getty in their education dept.- pre the new site. I remember driving to Malibu for my interview and thought it was too good to be true. It was too good- I didn't get the position but that was fine too!

I hope to go back to LA in the next year and visit some of my favorite spots- like the new Getty. That place was spectacular!

I hope you enjoyed your day. I love reading your blog.

myredwagon said...

Butler's Pantry - whaaat?? Did you work for Atique and Maha? I worked there years ago...maybe our paths crossed. very interesting...best birthday wishes to you.

lms said...

and i rode on that tram just today!

happy birthday...

Mama Urchin said...

Here's to going to bed early and sleeping in late - two wonderful gifts for a mom. Have a very happy birthday.

The Bruin Boy Bunch said...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Tracy
Happy 36 Birthdays to you

gracia said...

And a HAPPY 36th BIRTHDAY from me too!
see you, g

Fiona said...

Happy birthday, Tracy! Hope you had a lovely day, and a blissful early bedtime!

sally said...

Eek! Happy Belated Birthday! That darn Bloglines made me miss it! Anyways, I hope you had a lovely day with your D + your little bugs. Loved hearing more about your life journey!

amy h said...

Aw, another Bloglines victim! I missed the big day. I hope it was a happy one!

I know the 20s and 30s feel jam-packed with life changes -- I wonder if it will just keep going like this?

Ali said...

Happy birthday, a gentle day and an early night with the ones you love strikes me as a pretty perfect day.

tracy said...

thank you all so much. it just keeps getting better, you know?

(carol - let us know when you are coming - love to meet you at the getty for a picnic!, and redwagon - i was at the pantry 1995/96 - you?)

Hannah said...

oh tracy, i love your history! here is to looking forward to what the next ten years will bring you (a teenager???)yikes! hope that sleep treats you right.

Shari said...

oh tracy!
happy happy birthday (belated, sorry!). i really enjoyed reading about your past and your journey to where you are now. you are a source of inspiration to me. thank you for your wonderful words and beautiful photos. xox shari

petite gourmand said...

happy b-day to you!
I'm a 1970 dog too.
ah, the butler's pantry..haven't been there in ages.
I remember some spinach nut thing I used to always order, two words: very fibrous.
that is a great neighbourhood, but I'm sure not half as nice as the one you are in now.
at least it sure looks that way from the pics on your post, it looks absolutely beautiful where you are now.
hope 36 is a great year for you.

molly said...

I'm so sad I missed commenting on the real day. It looks like I'll need to resubscribe to your blog....
Glad you had a wonderful bday. So glad we're friends!!
HAPPY HAPPY BELATED BDAY!!

lisa s said...

hello there my birthday week friend! i'm so so sorry to have missed the real day - but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

wish we could have that real drink together.... but a virtual one is better than none!

sounds like it all went well !