Every year (for the past decade) as the days slip by approaching to my birthday, I have always felt nostalgic, but also maybe even a little sad, disappointed, or even a little lost.
The years were not spent living to the fullest, not fully happy where I was, or was dealing with transition. I would usually have weird or bad dreams leading up to the day.
As the day reached, it was always a decent good day, but there was that nagging sensation in the back of my mind, or back of my heart.
This year it is different!
No nagging feelings, no bad dreams, and peace. I am realizing that this past year has been the most growth I’ve ever made in any one year, let alone the grouping of years together.
A year older, a year wiser, and happier? Pretty accurate I must say!
I am humbled. I am greatful. I am blessed.
I believe some lessons brought me to where I am today.
Are there some lessons I wish I could have known at 18 years old? Or 25 years old? Or 30 years old? Or 35 years old?
But I guess life is not about knowing everything young.
I guess it comes with time. I guess that is what aging truly is about.
Finding our way along this journey of life. It is truly the journey and lessons learned along the way, more than the destination.
I often wonder if this is where I will be in years to come, but I think I can say I will continue to gain strength, learn, and grow. Who knows where I will be, but that I know.
Reflection during this week has made me realize there are several things that took place this year in my growth. I finally was able to find the path and not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.
Six things really changed my life this past year and I would like to share them. I believe if these do not already play a part in your life, bring them in.
It is what it is. This has been my life motto for the past three years but truly has played more this past year. It literally is a fuck it attitude of accepting whatever it is, whether you like it or not. Instead of getting caught up, it is moving on, just dealing with it. Things will not always go the way we want, bad or hurtful things are going to happen, and there is nothing we can do about that. Accept it.
Don’t procrastinate. I am the best at getting things done that I want to do. It is the not wanting to-do-list that accumulates when put off. I learned through the years that there will always be things I do not want to do. Just taking the task and getting it done is so much easier than the energy you have to put out putting it off and fighting it. I feel responsible now. I have taken on one project weekly and have cleaned out every drawer or closet and completed every task on my list. I am feeling ultra empowered and going to continue this once a week completion.
Find out what makes you sparkle. Live your life around the things, activities, and the people that make you light up. The world is so cruel, harsh, and hard… find the simple things that allow enjoyment into the busy days, or things put off year after year. Friends have told me I have a glow now, which is probably the best thing anyone can recognize. And remember do not let anyone ever steal your sparkle.
Forgive yourself. I have realized I will always make mistakes. I also realized that beating myself up for current or past mistakes is never going to get me anywhere but in a dark hole. I am now accepting me for who I am and have been working on being kind to myself. With this revelation, for the first time in my life, I have been able to let go of anger towards myself and no longer self sabotage. For the first time in my life, I control food, instead of it controlling me. I no longer beat myself up which led me to emotions of failure, shame, and guilt. I am free of all this due to the power of forgiveness.
Money is not everything. I have lived life carefully trying to plan for the future. But what if there is no future? I realized sometimes it is important to just blow money in a way that brings happiness. I work so hard year round and should be allowed to do this. While I in no way believe irresponsibility with money is good, but every so often, there is nothing wrong with purchasing something wanted or in traveling. I had put two things off, one in each category, and this past year just went for it. Both remind me through using the item almost daily and my trip memories which were life altering, how splurging a bit brought me daily happiness.
Listen to your heart. I have always lived with my head and not my heart. It is so freeing to live with my heart now. This has brought a whole new dimension to my life that could not have been had I not started to live with my heart.
These things have allowed me to live life in a new distinctive way.
And by living life, I have found my greatest joys and slow down enough to soak in the beauty of nature, love, friendship, family, and the things important in my life.
I have walked through some dark seasons of loss, sadness, and disappointment. I have been through the ups and downs of everyday life. I have been through unfair things. But I now see sunshine.
And that is the greatest gift of all.
Happy birthday to me.
(And to my family and dear friends – You have made this birthday EPIC from start to finish. I am speechless. I am touched. I am so lucky to have you in my little corner of this world. Nothing is more than love and I love you all. It is the people in my life who make my heart smile and make my world go ’round. My two day birthday gala has been perfect and because of you, this has been my best adult birthday I’ve ever had. EPIC.)