Happy My Birthday!

I turn 35 today! Wooooo! I feel reflective today because I’m smack in the middle of my thirties—a decade that I can say, halfway through, I have loved. “Transformative thirties” doesn’t sound as sexy as “dirty thirties,” but here I am. Transformed and sexier than ever.

What did you do in the last five years?

I quit drinking, got married, traveled the country, began a visual art practice, became a better writer, paid off all my student loans, started a savings account, finished grieving some old ass trauma, became a better partner, became a better friend, earned a full-time remote writing job I love, and learned I have narcolepsy (and learned how to treat it).

New in the shop, American Girl.

What was the biggest lesson of the last five years?

That thoughts and feelings are not final. They can change. And when they change, I change. Two things can be true at once. I can thrive in ambiguity now, not chaos; I learned how to tell the difference between those two things. Every day I make a choice to learn from my mistakes, give love, accept love, figure out where my mind is heading and get ahead of it—either rolling out the welcome mat or gently steering myself in a new direction.

I have learned the spots in me that are tender. I have learned why they are wounded and what they need to heal. I have learned how to get excited about the information that comes with rigorous self honesty, even when it’s unflattering. I welcome the news that self exploration uncovers. I like being in constant conversation with myself because it helps me show up in the world the best way I can.

What did you accomplish in the last five years that makes you the most proud?

Not proud necessarily… more like in awe: The work I did on my mindset and my spirit, and the expanded, nonjudgmental self awareness that is a result of that work. This has informed every relationship in my life and made them better in a profound way. And now I’m paying it forward. Recovery is a gift that keeps on giving.

What do you want to do in the next five years?

Ohhh yes, the good stuff! I want to act on this self awareness that has been gifted to me in the last five years. I want to take everything I’ve learned and focus it on doing the things I feel called to do. 

How will this manifest?

I will become a better writer and artist. I will be a better friend for myself. I will pay it forward to people I choose to let into my life. I will be fearless.

What do you hope your life looks like five years from now?

I will be proud of myself. I will know myself and recognize how I have grown since 35. I will be happy and excited about my choices. I will look as forward to my 40s as much as I am looking forward to the rest of my 30s right now. 

What are you grateful for today?

The chance to do this again! A birthday is just another day. Another opportunity to tell the people I love that I love them. Another opportunity to take my fears and turn them into fate. I am grateful for the love I have been given, and the person I have been. I am grateful that my mistakes haven’t been life-shattering. I am grateful for the girl I have held inside myself every birthday before this one. I love her for getting me here. A birthday is a moment to celebrate her too, all the “me” I used to be. I am grateful for this life and love watching it unfold.

Outtake: perplexed as to why I can’t take a screenshot while actually taking a screenshot… and falling into every stereotype about technology and aging in the process.
There we go. Cheers, from my Zoom room to yours.