This one is easier than the last, maybe because I have adjusted at being so darn close to 40 . . or maybe just because I am a happier person this year than I was last.
This year I got to thinking about all my last “on the cusp” birthday year, and where I was, and what I was doing, and what I would tell myself if I could . .
At 29 I was just barely pregnant with my first. I was in the horrible first trimester, barely conscious and packing on pounds. I barely remember my 29th birthday, but imagine I must have been eating (and throwing up) Definitely no champagne!
If I could tell myself anything . . . I would let “me” know that all good things come in time. Everything I am wishing for will happen, when it is ready to happen.
I remember wishing to be over the pregnancy stage, and have my kids and be back to living again. Being at that stage now, is amazing and I am loving it.
I remember being insecure about who I was. Uncomfortable in my skin, in my personality and knowing I still had so much to learn. I remember wanting to lead, and be confident, but understanding it wasn’t my time, quite yet.
When I was 29, we counted every penny. We were renovating a newly purchased heritage house in Vancouver, and our friends thought we were insane for “buying” Many of our crew were off travelling and exploring the world, and we were ripping down old plaster walls and re-doing ancient electrical panels. I didn’t have a kitchen for my 29th birthday, it was on the back lawn being repainted, while the upgrades were being done inside.
We weren’t sure what was coming ahead in our life, and I wasn’t able to even paint a picture of the life I wanted. We were “on the cusp” of being parents, and had no idea how that would change us.
As parents, we had years of arguments ahead of us. We had to figure out how to balance being parents, with being partners with being individuals. If I could say anything to myself, I would say that through it all, the downs and the even farther downs, I would learn (we would learn together) and we would establish a foundation that is strong. That without having to choose between diapers and milk, or gyp-rock & a weekend away, we wouldn’t understand the value of a dollar. Without fighting for our beliefs, we wouldn’t realize that we both do believe in the same thing.
At 29 I was on the edge of my adult life, and now at 39 I feel like, through it all, I am starting to find “me”. Through many (many, many) mistakes I have chipped away at my ego, and my “raw” self, to be able to start to feel fully confident in the human that I am. The layers have peeled off, and the lump in the middle, the core of “me” is starting to get closer to the surface.
My passions are becoming more apparent. My values and my goals are simplifying. I no longer say “yes”, unless I really, really want to. I don’t adapt quite as much to things I don’t believe in. But, I am more patient, and have more understanding of working through a process. I have learned that there are always two (or sometimes more) sides to every story. I have learned that the thing above all else, that I have to do in this life is just “my best”
And while “me best” isn’t always good enough, it is good enough for me.
So, on the edge of a new year, I stand confident. I am happy, and at peace, knowing I am not perfect, but believing that I am more “me” than I have ever been.
And eager. Eager to see where I stand on my next birthday. And welcoming it with acceptance and pleasure. Because as my physical body ages (and oh my it does) so does my mind and my soul. While I may start to droop a little on the outside, my inside is shedding pounds of guilt and fear as it matures. My soul is becoming more and more beautiful as it ages, and while I get more grey hairs with each passing year, and those laugh lines are turning into something more permanent, my eyes will give you the true story of the youth of my heart.
I am giving my younger self a little hug today. I am mentally going back and holding her hand. I know now what she has coming, the currents she will battle. But I also know she will make it through, and be a better, stronger, happier person for doing so.
And for my birthday, as a little present to me, take a moment to look back at your past years. See how far you have come, and open your heart to welcome the future, and all it has to bring. Cheers!