Yesterday, I revamped a draft of a post I intended to publish on last year’s birthday.

Neither version was positive. Both were diatribes about how much it sucks to be single on my birthday, and both last year and this year, I couldn’t quite pull the trigger on publishing them. Because really, do I need 600 words to convince you that being single and having birthdays sucks? Like, it’s worse than being single on Christmas and New Years, really. 
Isn’t this something we can all agree on in this simple sentence: it sucks to be single on every birthday, with no change in sight?
As I was cleaning out my email in search of free birthday food offers (thankyouStarbucksandNoodles&Co.), I came across one from FamilySearch, a genealogical service for my church. I share a birthday with the Utah state holiday Pioneer Day, and the email wanted me to know that to celebrate Pioneer Day, FamilySearch had added more documents about my ancestors who hauled handcarts from Omaha to Salt Lake City. 
So I went to the website, and got distracted by the social media outreach they planned for today: #IAmAPioneer.
When my mom sent out my birth announcements, she cut out little covered wagons and wrote all my newborn stats on them. I was her first child, born on Pioneer Day. It only made sense. I should also note that this was before Pinterest, so my mom is pretty badass in her creativity quotient.
FamilySearch has designed several different photos to share on Facebook, Twitter, and yes, Pinterest, with a pioneer theme, but this one spoke to me more than the others. 
#IAmAPioneer because I was the first Rowse of my generation–including my cousins–to serve an LDS mission, and others have since followed in my steps.
#IAmAPioneer because I am the only Rowse in my family not married and without children, and should any of my nieces and nephews find themselves in a similar life situation on the fringes of LDS culture, they can follow my steps and find ways to be faithful in the face of external judgment and internal disappointment.
#IAmAPioneer because as I teach students to become better writers and designers and smarter consumers of media, they can follow my steps to follow dreams, create art, and fight injustices.

I’m not sure I’ll ever post either diatribe about how I really feel about my birthday–maybe that’s for my next memoir–but at least for this year, I’m feeling okay.

I’m sure the free Starbucks and Noodles & Co. will help. 

5 thoughts on “#IAmAPioneer

  1. Love you so much. And thanks for the compliment😘. Happy Birthday and see you tonight!

  2. I don't know but I discovered your blog accidentally over a year ago. I've really enjoyed it. For the record, I appreciate your most honest posts, whether they are “negative” or “positive.”

    As for birthdays and being single– it does suck. My birthday is tomorrow and I can't help but think that I have failed to accomplish the most important things in life (marriage and kids). I don't know if I will.

    I admire that you have been able to hold on to your beliefs despite the pain. Happy birthday. Keep writing.

  3. Anonymous–Thank you for reading! I'm glad even the honest posts haven't turned you away. 🙂

    I hope your birthday was pleasant enough…I totally understand how awful they can be. Maybe next year I'll have the guts to post what I'm REALLY thinking on my birthday.

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