Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Quarter of a Century Ago, Today

Yes, that’s right. I am the big 2-5 today. I don’t really feel as a person should who is in their mid-twenties. I actually still kind of act like I’m 17 minus the no curfew or sex rule.

But I’m like, an adult. I’m responsible.

And it’s funny.

I’m sitting here, thinking of all the years that have passed, and I know unequivocally that the life I lead now is not the life I ever dreamt I’d lead, or even want to lead.

This is how it was supposed to go:
I’d graduate college in something; I didn’t really care, as long as I was writing. I’d go live in NYC; experience the Big Apple and Life and model for Elite and Victoria’s Secret. And then I’d get married, and in my late twenties or early thirties have one baby, maybe two. I’d be famous by the time I was 30, having written the next Great American Novel, of course, and maybe even having graced the cover of Vogue. I would never worry about finances, or my lungs. I would be thin and beautiful but never of course have an eating disorder. I’d have it All Together. No one would ever have to worry about me, or whisper behind my back, or look at me critically and think, Has she gained weight? Has she lost? I’d even have a white picket fence, dammit!

And, well wow, we know that that’s not how things have turned out. At all.

But if I could go back, would I change it? If I’m being honest, perhaps. Those who say they don’t regret anything they’ve ever done are fools. Or, terribly naïve. Or maybe just a saint. I don’t know.

There have been lots of things in my life that have hurt. I’ve made a lot of mistakes too, nearly killed myself with anorexia, put my parents and family in bouts of frenzied worry for my sanity and life. And that shames me.

But also, maybe it’s made me ME. Who I am. Or who I’m supposed to be.

I was born, and I was happy. And then somewhere along the line…not so happy. And that translated into self-starvation, which at the time, was really self-preservation. And then I tried to get better but couldn’t. I got worse. But then I met Brandon. And for a while, I got better. And then I got sick again. But then I got pregnant with Cade, and got better. But then got sick again. And finally, better: recovering. And now here I am, dealing with the devastating after-math of malnutrition. I am not the picture of health even though I no longer restrict. There are consequences to one’s actions. And that sucks.

And I’ll have to live with that.

And, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to live with all that for at least a few more quarter centuries, because my life really does rock. Because I have Brandon, and I have Cade. And I have my friends, and my amazing sisters and mom, and family. And I have YOU. Seriously let’s have a cheesy moment, okay?
[deep breath]
Man. Happy birthday to me, right?


Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BREEZY! This morning I was thinking that if we were in first grade we would be up the canyon at Storm Mountain. I wouldn't know what to get Brett, so his present would be lame, but you would get Wet n Wild makeup and a Sweet Valley book.

Happy Birthday!!!

Jamie said...

Aww, Happy Birthday Brie!! I really do hope you have a lovely lovely day, and also the loveliest years to come - you're doing an excellent job at life right now, you know. Your life rocks, and YOU rock. =) *birthday hugs!*

Kara said...

Happy Birthday! 25 is a good age. Thanks for the reminder that life rocks (even when it doesn't go as planned)!

Maeve said...

Happy Birthday Brie!! I hope your hubby and son do an amazing job of reminding you that you deserve to be happy today and every day!

now.is.now said...

I love this post. You can regret things but you shouldn't be ashamed of things. And, whether you know it or not, you breathe an inspiring, positive vibe into the homes/apts of coutless people very day (like me) with this blog. I'd love to know you in real life. I think you are someone who definitely makes the world a better place. People are better for knowing/reading you. You may or may not be famous (like, in tabloids famous) by the time you're 30 - but you do have a large positive influence. And I ain't making that up. You rock! Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Brie!

Krystle said...

Happy Birthday, Brie! You're a Leo like me! :)

Don't feel bad, August 4th marks the 26th anniversary of my escape (being yoinked) from me madre's womb. Holy crap! ;)

I think you are doing great, and we are always thinking, "I should be...could have been....want to be..." But, where we are will ultimately be on the road to where we want to be.

Have a great day, and you rock!

♥ Krystle

Penny said...

What a relief the dayi I expelled you and twin bro! It really is backwards isn't it? I should be getting a present from you, well for just doing it and all. You have never shamed me. I am not disappointed in you but so proud of your life! I love survivors my dear and you are an example to me and to so many others. Please hold your head high and feel grateful for 25. You have learned so much and are a wise woman! Love you much,

McIntyre Family said...

Happy Birthday Brie! Hope you have a super terrific day!
P.S You ARE famous in Cade's life and Brandon's life and your sissies lives and your mom and dad's life blah blah blah....ok you started the cheese!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Brie!

Standing in the Rain said...

Happy birthday brie! I understand what you are saying about the whole "would I change it" thing. Obviously, our lives haven't been ideal. But they've also been pretty good and they created us, changed us, grew us. Made us, I hope, more compassionate, whole people.

Anyways, have a great day and enjoy still being mid-twenties...I'm verging on late twenties...eeeeek!

Tanya said...

Happy Birthday Brie. I love the idea of understanding that regrets don't mean we need to change things...or wish we could. You are an inspiration to a lot of people. I hope you know that. Hugs.

Telstaar said...


There are things about your life that I would've taken from you if I could, there is healing I would give to you if I could... But... if this is what was needed for me to get to know you, then I'm THANKFUL for what you've been through, even though now I think it should end so you can live happily ever after. I would hope that if you'd never gone through all of this that we'd still have met somehow, but I'll never know. At the end of the day, thankyou for making it to 25, thankyou for battling on and most of all THANKYOU FOR BEING YOU!

Happy Birthday Miss B! I hope you have a really wonderful day and that this coming year blesses your socks off!!

Love you babe, Love Telly xox

PS. I still hope you do write a great american novel, or a peice of published writing that I can purchase and read over and over again and to ME it will feel like the greatest american novel!!! You got 5 years to fit it in with your time schedule! :D :P


Laura said...

I'd wish you a happy birthday but I can not stop laughing at HOW YOUNG YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my, honey...what are you doing hanging out with ME? I am OLD OLD OLD!

Well, OK...I am done laughing...and now I am crying. Because I am old and ugly and you are young and beautiful.
You know, had you moved to NYC and modeled with Elite, I would have known you for sure, as I worked with the Elite models for beauty commercials.
We were just meant to be, I suppose.

HAFC said...

Happy birthday Brie. I hope you had a good one! Your life has turned out how it was supposed to....and that is not anything you did wrong. You chose each step and path that led you to here, now, and who you are right this second is a valuable, loving, stubborn (in a good way), humble, and incredible/amazing individual. I believe your life has led you here to this moment to be all of these things, plus more. Have a good one!

Brooke said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! For a few weeks we are only 3 years apart. Girl, please don't look back on your life and reflect on all of the hard times; especially today :)

Life is never what we expected it to be right? Remember in Young Women's we would plan out our lives ten years down the path? Seemed so perfect and well back then. Well, my life isn't (for sure) what I thought! If only I knew what was coming, I would have ducked for cover and moved to Cancun!

Seriously though, you are amazing and I love you and you are brave, strong and all of those great things. Sorry I didn't make it to your party. I did send my food assignment though :) he, he....Love you girl. Hope you liked your heart attacks from last night. We had a blast doing it!

Keely said...

Yay! Happy Birthday! I honestly don't think anyone's lives go exactly as planned. Seriously...

Jackie said...


Abby said...

Well, it's after midnight now, so I'm a day late, but happy birthday!

It's always been weird to me that we're so close in age--we have such very different lives. (And I can think of one person I know who is closer in age to me than you are, and her life is also very different than either of ours!) Anyway, if you're 17 minus the curfew and no sex rule, maybe I'm 15 plus a drivers license and a bank account? I don't know, but I'm glad your life really does rock. And I'm going to conclude that if we can be very close to the same age but have very different really-does-rock lives, then perhaps certain age-graded expectations actually aren't all that?

Also, I already knew I wasn't a saint; but at least on the topic of regret, I'm happy to report that I'm not naive or foolish either!

CookieGirl said...

Happy Birthday, birthday twin! : )
Right on about the people who "have no regrets." It's all about learning and moving forward. xoxo

Mormon Bachelor Pad said...

I know that when you typed "LOVE YOU!" at the end of your post... it was meant for everyone.

But I still kind of had a little stomach flutter when I read it.

I love you, too.

Gena said...

I hope you HAD the happiest of birthdays, Brie! July babies rock (my b-day is the 16th).

I also hope you live many more quarters of centuries. What you continue to share with your stories of recovery are a blessing to me and my daughter. I don't comment much, but as you know, when you're in the midst of hard things, time sometimes slips by. I still try to read when I can and each time I do, I love what you are doing with your life.

Tell your mom thanks for expelling you.

Vicki said...

Hi Brie,
I am a friend of Telstaar. One night she read me your "Behind Bars" series and I was hooked. I have been reading ever since.

Girl, you have a gift. Your writing is beautiful, funny, achingly raw and human, and so so real. Thanks for sharing it, and you, and your life. Very very cool.

Anyway, I just wanted to say "hi" and "thank you" and most of all today "HAPPY BIRTHDAY".


Anonymous said...

Hey, Brie! Happy belated birthday! Here's to you completing the century :D


John L. said...

Ah, well, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. I'm 25 myself, and I totally get your sentiment. I too had hoped to have made some extraordinary accomplishments by now, but, alas, I'm just like everyone else. That's life. Happy birthday.