When I was a lot younger, I thought about my 40th birthday as so far in the future and potentially scary. I didn’t know how I would feel. I didn’t know if I’d still be healthy. I didn’t know if I would be happy. Also, what the hell middle aged?!
Today is my birthday. I’m turning 40.
I feel pretty good.
I am so happy to be on the planet. And weirdly thrilled to be turning 40 because between you and I, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get here and still feel like me. I had hopes of getting to this point, but I wasn’t ever sure. Diabetes is tricky. And I’ve had it for a long time. But I made it this far, this long, and I feel honestly better than I ever thought possible when I pictured the maybe of being 40 years old.
I credit the diabetes community for being a huge part of what held my emotional health together these last 14 years in particular. Writing here has been cathartic. It’s been a place where I can release these thoughts, all this diabetes stuff that I didn’t realize weighed so heavily on me until I let it fly. For the last 14 years, writing here made me feel better.
SixUntilMe launched back in May of 2005 because I felt alone. I wasn’t dealing with diabetes distress or burnout or even a particularly crappy batch of blood sugars. I simply felt alone. I didn’t know anyone else who had diabetes and sometimes I just wanted someone who understood how frustrating it could be to be low just before bed but somehow always after you just brushed your teeth. Or how a really stubborn high can make you feel like a garbage can. Or how when you think about your future, it can be clouded with fear or uncertainty for a dozen different reasons, with diabetes always ranking as one of them.
Then, all of a sudden, all this hope grew from everywhere. From the comments people left on blog posts. From the connections between PWD on Twitter. From Facebook friends becoming real life friends. From photos and “likes” evolving into people having coffee and laughing and not even remembering that diabetes brought us together in the first place.
From “oh, that’s my friend from the blog,” to “they’re like family to me.”
Finding my community made me feel whole. I’ll be forever connected to and grateful for everyone in it.
But I’m ready for something different. This coming May 4, on the 14th birthday of my site, I’ll update here for the last time. I want to move on and tell my story in a different way.
I don’t have plans to disappear from the space entirely; that cure they promised decades ago seems lost in the mail, and community support matters so much to me. I’ll still enjoy writing in other places, and I’m excited to expand my voice into non-diabetes related adventures. I absolutely still hope to connect with folks through conferences and speaking engagements. I will keep the majority of the content available in some form, for others to find, as I’m proud of what I’ve shared here. But I’ve written and rewritten this post in my head for the better part of two years, so I know this is the right decision.
I love this community with my whole heart (and what’s left of my pancreas).