29 Years Worth Celebrating
My mother and father are your classic sentimental parents. Every year on my birthday they tell the same stories, without fail. My dad will show me old pictures (you know, ones I hate but he treasures) & laugh as he tells stories about the silly pranks he used to pull on me. My mom will wax poetic about the floral wallpaper that lined every inch of the hospital room I was born in & how she feels like it was only yesterday. It reminds me that even though our relationships have been tough at times, it doesn’t make the love less meaningful or valuable.
Life is complicated & messy & sometimes it tests you in ways you never fathomed being tested. It makes you fight to stay alive. The journey to adulthood is quite surreal. I know I’m older… but I feel younger than I’ve ever felt. I can’t tell you how thankful I’m am to have made it to 29. I know our society glorifies “youth,” but I have to tell you… my youth is not something I want to revisit. For me, 29 is SO MUCH BETTER than 19. I’m proud of every year I’m still standing. Age is a gift that I’m grateful for. I know it can be hard to be grateful for this. Every day we worry we aren’t living enough. Every day we worry that we are running out of time. But that is a miserable way to live. It isn’t what living is about. I’m only 29! I have so much living left to do! I’m only just starting to really understand who I am. I’m only just starting to really stand up for myself & not let others determine what my life is supposed to mean. I’ve spent too many years not being kind to myself. I have let regret, tragedy, sickness, stress, guilt & worry take away too much of my life. That kind of living helps no one.
There are a few things I have learned in the short time I’ve existed:
It is not selfish to take care of yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else. What works for you, may not work for everyone. You know your limits & your boundaries & if that is something people can’t respect, then maybe you aren’t good for one another.
Don’t allow others to bully you & make you feel less than. No one is an expert on how to live life! We are all just trying. Be kind & be understanding to one another. Spend more time lifting people up, not bringing them down. Don’t let others shame you for loving what you love… and vise versa!
You’ll never regret spending time giving back to problems that are bigger than your own. The world is filled with struggle & pain & it’s up to each of us to watch out for one another & give back in any way we can.
Life is not going to turn out like you pictured… but that’s a good thing! My dreams from when I was 17 look nothing like the dreams I have for myself now. But that’s because I know more about what is important. I have a deeper understanding of who I am & I need. I have a deeper understanding of the people around me.
Nothing is impossible… but in that same breath, nothing comes easy. You may not get what you want right when you want it. But you will never regret pushing for & working towards your dreams… at least that has been my experience so far. Sometimes I hate that I’m an artist. It’s a roller coaster ride of a profession. It’s something so personal, so raw, that you literally feel you are trying to sell a part of your very being. & I really can’t explain to you why I feel called to be an artist. It has just always been who I am. I’ve tried to fight it… but fighting it has always led to deep periods of depression. When I stay true to myself & my desires, I’m happier & more connected with the world around me.
I hope you know how thankful I am for all of you. Thank you for being so uplifting & supportive. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t. Thank you for reminding me to slow down & appreciate all the things in my life worth being grateful for. Thank you for pushing me to be better & for helping me to embrace growing & changing.
Today is my birthday and I’m going to spend it just like I always like to spend it: doing absolutely nothing. I’m taking the day off from work. I’m staying in my pajamas all day long. I’m going to watch all the movies I’ve been meaning to watch for the past few months. I’m going to eat pain au chocolat & pizza and not regret one single calorie. Friday I get to have a celebration dinner with my family, Saturday I get to attend a dear friend’s bridal shower & Sunday Cory & I get to celebrate, just him & me, over tea at Hotel deLuxe. I think 29 is going to be incredible & I’m going to work hard to bring you along for the journey.