Please give a warm welcome to K.M. Randall, author of Fractured Dream and The Reaper’s Daughter, to the Age is Just a Number blog series. K.M. dishes fearing the big 2.5. and how she finally no longer dreads birthdays.
Getting over birthdays
My hatred of birthdays began when I was twenty-two. I could already see the passing of my youth, and since I’d reached the legal drinking age the year before, what good was getting older? But it was my twenty-fifth birthday that I’ll always remember as the year I was misery personified. I wanted nothing more than to let it go by without anyone the wiser. I wanted to forget it, or at the very least pretend it wasn’t happening, pretend thirty wasn’t only five years away. Mortality beat a constant drum inside my conscience.
My friends, however, refused to let me stay twenty-four and had planned a night out dancing. To make a long story short, I was so sunk in my joylessness I ended up leaving the club and walking across the street to a friend’s house where I went to sleep, too depressed to have fun. That was the worst year. That was the year I floated, waiting to start grad school, finding myself in a relationship that was wholly unhealthy and abusive to myself, the year I wrote in a dark office but felt less accomplished than before I’d begun.
The birthdays after that weren’t as bad, although for the longest time it was a running joke between family and friends that I hated getting older. But when I was twenty-eight I fell in love, and even though he was three years younger than me, age didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. By the time thirty actually rolled around, age just wasn’t such a big deal and I only half-heartedly and jokingly grumped about this mark of time. My group of friends passed off the pink walker to me, a gift the birthday boy or girl had to store until the next friend hit a milestone, and I took it with good humor. I was thirty-two when my son was born and my thirty-third birthday later that year was merely a moment to reflect and enjoy my first year as a mother.
I’m not sure exactly what changed. Perhaps it was the inevitability. Maybe I’m just too busy to worry about getting old. I still don’t like it. I don’t like the health issues, the aches I sometimes feel that I didn’t have ten years ago, the passing of family and friends. But I like to believe that instead of dreading the turning of another year, I’ve learned to welcome life. It goes forward and so must I. I turn thirty-six this month, and instead of dread I’m excited for what’s to come. Now, when I hear someone younger than myself lament their age, I laugh to myself. I’ve been there. But I don’t dread my birthday. No one teases me anymore about my distaste for getting older because I choose not to focus on it as a negative. Instead, I look forward to the celebration of a life that I believe is more well-lived every year. Plus, it’s always a reason to drink good wine.
As a girl, K.M. always wished she’d suddenly come into magical powers or cross over into a Faerie circle. Although that has yet to happen, she instead lives vicariously through the characters she creates in writing fantasy and delving into the paranormal. When K.M. is not busy writing her next novel, she is a freelance editor and writer, and she also serves as an editor with Booktrope Publishing. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in English-Lit from Nazareth College of Rochester. K.M. lives in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region with her husband, her extremely energetic little boy, and their crazy Goldendoodle Luna. Her first novel, Fractured Dream: The Dreamer Saga, was published in June 2014, and her upcoming YA paranormal novel, The Reaper’s Daughter, is slated for release in February 2015.
How Do You Know? – December 2nd.
What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?
On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding towards her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly-aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.