The Next Bubble

Whenever I go to my local Walgreens, the receipt urges me to take part in their monthly sweepstakes for a chance to win $3,000. It’s right there at the bottom, beckoning to me: “How are we doing? Visit within 72 hours to take a short survey.”

If all I have to do is fill in a few bubbles, why not?

It’s a pretty painless process that leads to a potentially uncomfortable one at the very end. After filling in bubbles about my shopping satisfaction, how clean I felt their store was, whether I was pleased with the employees’ assistance and — once again — filling in a “no” when asked whether I dropped of film for developing (…does anyone do this anymore?), it got to the part where I needed to fill in some personal details.

A few years back, I used to have a bit of an issue when I filled them in. Not because I had any issue with them knowing my info, but because on the screen in front of me, stuff wasn’t adding up to where I thought I should be.

Sometimes I’d feel my age bracket was too high as compared to my salary bubble.

Other times I’d simply wonder whether I’d ever fill in the ‘married’ button, or whether ‘single’ would always be the way I roll.

People, including myself, living at my address with me? Yep, that’d be me. One. Singular, mono, uni.

In the end, I’ve felt grateful each time to be able to fill in the ’employed full-time’ bubble.

Tonight, I realized I’d graduated to the next age bracket. No longer 25-34, I was now selecting the 35-44 bubble. And it felt good.

Aside from the obvious (being on the younger side of the category, of course), the next bubble felt — in a way — like the start of a new chapter.

I remembered back to when I was 25. Oh, the angst, the young love, the immaturity. The recklessness, the finding-my-way-ness. The late nights, the late mornings, the wasting time, the dreaming too much and doing too little. The overall, generally pervasive feeling of wishing-I-was-older-and-could-just-fast-forward-ness.

And here I am. Sometimes I’m amazed I made it out of the last age bubble and lived to see the one I’m currently in.

I have no idea what the next bubble will bring. Maybe a new residence, maybe a husband, maybe [gasp] a child, maybe another cat, or maybe a dog. Maybe fewer lbs, or maybe not. Maybe more lbs, but here’s hoping definitely not. Maybe a relocation to another state — or country, maybe a sold stageplay, screenplay or book. Maybe more long-distance travel, maybe more weekend trips, maybe I’ll finally visit Nelson, British Columbia because I’ve found it charming since the first time I saw the movie Roxanne

Regardless of what it brings, I hope that it brings the contentment that generally only comes when one is comfortable in their own skin. I feel like I finally am, and it’s more than I could ever ask for. Tonight I am thankful that filling in bubbles reminded me that no matter how much my life may or may not change in the next nine years, the important thing is to feel as good about it when it does — if it does — as I do right now.

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