Celebrating The Last Year of My 20's
Wednesday November 14, 2018
I’ve loved celebrating birthdays - mine and everyone else’s - all my life. When we were kids, Pat and my birthdays stretched into month-long celebrations each year: a celebratory meal with our immediate family, another with our mom’s side, still one more with our dad’s, and always a party with friends - preferably a sleepover. Annual birthday staples: cake and balloons, dinner on the patio at The Cheesecake Factory, a pile of presents and heartfelt cards (the best part), a pre-slumber party Blockbuster run, traditional seaweed soup on the morning of my birthday. So many traditions, so much festivity. I’m so grateful to have grown up in a family that celebrates intentionally and celebrates well.
Yesterday, I turned 29. After a long season of battling a mental health upheaval and some deeply-rooted anxiety about the passage of time, finding joy about another year around the sun didn’t come quite as naturally as it has in years past. But today, I truly am joyful because I’ve chosen to be - to dig deep into the wellspring of contentment and peace that bubbles, sometimes very quietly, from within. It’s all too easy to succumb to old thought patterns and to let them have the last say, but I’m learning that true joy is often found in the daily choosing of it, the striving for it when it feels beyond reach, the fighting for it when life circumstances tempt you to despair.
29 feels like a breath of fresh air, like I’m emerging anew from the cocoon of the past 8 months. An invitation to stretch these baby wings I’ve grown so that I can become more of the woman - the wife, mama, daughter, sister, friend, and leader - that I’ve been called and created to be. Goals for myself this year: to embrace the passage of time as gain, not as loss; to be fully present to the best of my ability in each moment, whether I’m changing a diaper or exploring a new country; to love and nurture myself well so that I can do the same for others; to learn how to be all of me, unapologetically, so that I can model strong womanhood for my girl; to let myself feel all the emotions, even (especially) the hard ones.
I’m also traveling light in this last year of my 20’s, leaving behind so much that hasn’t served me in the past, and only carrying with me the things that bring freedom and peace. And joy.