As a child growing up, I always thought by the age of 50, I would be the master of many things. I would have traveled around the world, perhaps become famous, have a house in the country and one by the sea. I'd spend my days painting in the garden and my nights researching a cure for some hopeless disease.

That child has long since grown up and 51 years quietly embrace me. And while I shall never be the master of many things, I am leaving my mark;

I belong to a family who has proudly survived mental illness, brain tumors and war. A family whose humor and affection stand strong.

I am indebted to my friends who are a true joy - encouraging me, cherishing me, accepting me.

I am blessed to have an amazing mentor who guides me with wisdom, kindness and experience.

I work at a job where I can share my heart and make a difference. A job where I am surrounded by people who have truly changed my life for the better.

And so I travel not the world, but the roads in my small town, famous only to my friends, living in a house not by the sea but filled with a remarkable family. I spend my days satisfied with my work and my nights grateful and eager for what comes next.

I am content.

Copyright © 2004 Bernadette Ballezza