March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 35th birthday and it's a particularly good birthday for me. I woke feeling joyful at the morning light streaming through my window onto the faces of my beautiful girls and husband. Then, I slipped from the bed and started the morning alone - hiking, reflecting on my life so far.

This year feels different for me. I think a lot of it has to do with a transformation that's been taking place inside me for a while. I've wasted a lot of my life - years really - wishing for something I am not. I'm not saying I have not enjoyed my life. It has been amazing so far, filled with love and accomplishment.

I've had jobs I've loved and jobs I've hated. In them, I discovered that I love aviation, travel and that I'm really good at learning new things. I attended a university on a scholarship which allowed me to sing my way through school and still study what I enjoy most (stories about people -- also known as History). In my latest job, I get to sing beautiful music - then stay home and play with my kids. In all these places, interesting and wonderful people from all over the world have contributed to my personal and professional growth.

I am LUCKY in love. Ten years ago this year, I married the one my soul loves. He is handsome, kind, SMART, talented, fun, loving, gentle - strong. My heart melts when I think about how he loves me. Our two precious girls fill my days with joy and laughter. My friends and family bless me with their love. I have a home in what I consider the most amazing country in the world. I am so fortunate. I frequently give thanks for these blessings.

But, for a long time, when I looked into the mirror, I didn't see a happy, accomplished, beautiful friend- mother-lover. In a Puritanical fashion true to my upbringing, I saw only my failings and spent most of my time worrying about how to be a perfect version of me - thinner, more organized, quicker on my feet, less self-conscious. Of course, I imagined life would be even more fulfilling if I could somehow just be 'perfect me'.

How did I get into the habit of wishing for a different version of myself? Maybe it was the way I was raised. Maybe it was mental laziness. Or maybe grief got the better of me for a while. Regardless, in worrying about the future, I lost the chance to bask in the light of the current moment.

Well, I'm done with wasting moments.

Today I'm giving myself a special birthday gift. From this moment on, I'm setting myself free to enjoy me as I am right now. I'm going to start each morning smiling with pleasure at the face I see in the mirror and loving every wrinkle, freckle and stretch mark I've earned. I don't want to stop growing as a person but I will be content with who I am now and inhabit this moment - with my husband, girls, family and friends. I want my girls to grow up LOVING who they are, as they are, and they will learn that best from me.

I have a feeling this is the best birthday gift I'll get this year.

1 comment:

  1. i so, so, SO loved reading this. your heart and joy and soul just shine through all these inadequate words.

    happy, happy birthday and may this be the beginning of a long and beautiful romance with your authentic self. :)


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