“We have to be able to grow up. Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.” ~ Lauren Hutton
I have always considered birthdays more of a milestone then the changing of the year. Yes, a new year begins with people making all of these resolutions, as well as annoyingly struggling to remember to write the correct date. But it is birthdays, especially as we age which can bring many more important milestones to mark the passage of time and growth then any resolution. It is our younger selves that as we gain freedom, we learn and grow and as adults we (hopefully) gain more wisdom.
Aging can be controversial. I know many people who hate it. While I might joke about it, I have never been in that category. As the youngest, I always craved to be able to hang with the older kids. And now that I am “old,” each year I get is a true blessing. One I don’t take for granted, because so many people don’t get to see another year. Yes, old age brings that thing called adulting, as well as all the wrinkles (thank god for botox) and gray hair. (and hair dye!) But adulting, that word society thinks is so dirty, is incredibly freeing, empowering and confidence building if we are willing to embrace it.
Approaching my 29th birthday this year, and the last year in my twenties, was insane and hectic and crazy and pretty much all of the things you can put into words. Which apparently I am choosing not to. It wrought so much intense emotion. I moved out of New York which had been my home for seven years and a place where my baby-steps into adulthood turned into catapulting off a cliff into it. In a current state of living out of my suitcase because I have no set destination in mind. At least for the next year. It is both a joyful concept to my minimalistic heart, as well as annoyingly frustrating, because everything seems to get jumbled no matter how many packing cubes I use.
As frustrating as it can be, it is also the path I have taken in my story. Just a continuation of all the many chapters I am accumulating and with the vexing moments, comes reminders to breathe, to practice calmness, to be okay in the – at times imperfect – moment. Reminders the universe seems to think I need to keep practicing this last year. And I probably do. Life is imperfectly perfect and it reminds us of that every single day.
I am woman. I can do it
The last few months in New York I kept repeating mantras to myself to help me get through some pretty difficult days. I was moving which is no small feat in New York. Compounding matters I was doing it by myself with no help from family and friends, many of them were dealing with their own adulting issues.
Break downs happened, more then once as I tried to navigate selling my life, which I seemed to hav an abundance of and all of it had fit neatly into my two hundred square foot apartment. Amongst lugging my furniture, some of it bigger then I am, down three flights of stairs, by myself, I was also trying to figure out my next move. Also with just me, myself, and I.
I am constantly trying to empower the next generation and that includes my nieces, the youngest of which I am always telling that, “She is woman and she can do it.” As the youngest she has a tendency of relying on her brothers, which is sweet, but also something she doesn’t need to do because she is an incredibly capable (and scarily smart) two year old.
It was and is something that I needed to remind myself of. On top of being the whole one woman show, I was also sick, which just added to the stress and the negativity I kept telling myself. I needed to practice what I preach and change the narrative to one that was empowering, one that stated I COULD do this. Because I really could. And I did. One step at a time, a new word written, I made it through and got it done. By myself. As hair pulling as it was at times, I freaking adulted and did it.
Taking Control of the Ride.
Adulting isn’t always fun, but it has to be done. Like all things in life there is the good and the bad and eventually the two balance each other out. As a Gemini, I am ALL about finding that balance. There are times where you have to walk down the road life is telling you to go, no matter how much you may not want to. For if you don’t, it will still do it for you without that illusion of choice. Life keeps going. It goes and goes and you can take control of the ride and create a narrative you enjoy, or you can hang on tight as it drags you along and be miserable with no control.
Admittedly, there are some things we can’t control, but the control we do have is our reactions to what happens. We write the remaining narrative of what life has dealt us. We take that tragedy, or that unpleasantness, even just the every day annoyances, and we are responsible for ultimately choosing how we will respond to it. Whether it is a positive or negative force and whether it is authentic to who we are as a person.
I feel so Adele starting this with a number. But 29 is the year that I truly take control of my own narrative. As my shirt from Hadestown says “All I’ve ever known is how to hold my own.” It isn’t a negative statement, but an empowering one. The last couple months have shown me how much strength I have gained from having to hold my own. I could have written a negative narrative, instead I am looking at the positive and reflecting.
I am looking at the reflections as neither negative nor positive, but just what is. Twenty-eight was one heck of a crazy roller coaster. One that ultimately I am grateful for, because it was character building. I can go forward without bitterness, anger, and even longing, because I am in charge of my story, and I know I deserve the best and I will find it.
Change is insanely scary. But it is also necessary. This year I am stepping out of my comfort zone in ways I never thought I ever would. But I know I can do it. Even if I fall, which let’s be real, I probably will, because that is life, I will get back up and continue to write my narrative. Not because I am a woman, but because of what being a woman has taught me the last 29 years. I am woman. I can do it. And I will.
How do you celebrate your birthday and celebrate change? What is something you have grown from this year?