I recently wrote a story about Jackie Anderson’s search for her roots. As her thirtieth birthday was approaching last month, she woke up one night in the middle of the night and felt an overwhelming urge to write a letter to her mom, even though she still hasn’t found her. Here’s what she wrote.
To My Birth Mother on my 30th Birthday
Hi. It’s me. I think of you constantly, especially around my birthday. I imagine you’ve thought a lot about me these past weeks since I am turning 30 today, one of those big milestones of life.
I’ve experienced a number of life-changing events in the past five years and you’ve unfortunately missed them all. I received my Master’s and started my career in a high profile deputy manager position in a local government. I broke up with my college boyfriend of five years, a man who moved to this country to live with me. A man I thought I would marry. I had an affair with a married man which taught me some valuable life lessons about family and commitment. I met a coworker, a man double my age, with a brilliant mind and a sensitivity unmatched by any living being on the planet, who proposed to me after two years of dating. I suffered from PTSD and anxiety for the first time in my life from responding to a natural disaster in my local community. My best friend moved across the country and was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease shortly thereafter, showing life isn’t too kind to those who are.
Within the last year, I was offered the job of my dreams and leaped at it, working as a director of a department to advance the betterment of housing, economic, and urban redevelopment in the city I live in. I got married, honeymooned, and within six months, moved out. Six months after that I filed for separation. I suffered from chronic anxiety and experienced depression for the first time. I experienced what it’s like to support a life-long alcoholic through rehab and experienced what life after rehab really brings to a marriage. Sobriety is a beautiful thing; however, it brings changes that no one can ever anticipate. I make the choice every day to use this as an opportunity for growth rather than something that holds me back.
These experiences have taught me a great deal. My ability to understand people’s hardships and their reasons for taking certain actions has grown. I want to meet you. I want to take the time and effort to fully commit myself to overcome my deep-seated fears and do the research to find you. I have enough detail to go on from the adoption agency that my search should not take long. Something holds me back, but I won’t let it anymore.
I’ve lived a lot for a 29-year-old. Some say I sound like I’m in my mid-forties when I talk about overcoming difficulties and the wisdom I bring to many situations. I want to be my age again. I want to be relaxed and enjoy life as it is in the moment. Here’s hoping the next decade can be a little less bumpy and more calm.
Here’s to you, on my 30th birthday. Thanks for bringing me into this world. I hope we meet (again) soon.