As I count down the days leading up to my 38th birthday, I can say one thing emphatically—37 has been a pivotal year. About this time last year, I began a tumultuous trek toward a particular destination. Only after I set out on the path; however, did I learn that the place I was seeking was one I’d never reach if I kept going in the same direction.
I might even liken this past year to my very own mid-life crisis, except I didn’t have an affair or run out and buy a Porsche. Instead, like the good little introvert I am, I retreated inward. I read books. I contemplated my innermost feelings and the meaning of this crazy ride called life. Perhaps most importantly, I started to wake up from a bad dream, one in which I was a prisoner of my very own making.
Like the Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities, begins:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
The result has been a year of unraveling, and taking down walls I put up long ago in the name of self-preservation. I’ve also been tearing down, piece by piece, the fence I built to keep my heart safe inside. First remembering, and then un-telling, the made-up stories about who I am and what my place is in this world, followed closely by the unbelieving of the lies about myself I was convinced were true.
But somewhere from deep within this sea of inner turmoil, something called gratitude bubbled up to the surface—the little voice that kept telling me to look beyond the sadness and hurt to see the beauty of the lesson the universe was providing. And, with a very subtle shift in my perspective, I honestly began to see things in a different way than I ever had before—what an amazing gift!
I acknowledge this year as an unconventional milestone based on how it will leave an indellible mark on me. With that I say thank you, 37, for the adventures in self-discovery, all the wonderful and painful life lessons, and creating space for me to:
- Open to possibility;
- Soften, even when the world does its best to harden me;
- Find the courage to say no to fear and expand into love;
- Grow into my role as a wife and mother, allowing and embracing all of what this means;
- Dream new wild and crazy dreams;
- Recognize when I put up walls of resistance, and being able to take a step back and think about why;
- Rekindle my love affair with movement;
- Learn about the amazing power of energy in everything, including me;
- Remember the importance of taking deep breaths, as I stumble to find my inner peace;
- Take off my blinders so I may see with fresh eyes;
- Learn to love myself, cause I am pretty freakin’ awesome, after all;
- Forge new friendships with other beautiful souls and kindred spirits;
- Receive the opportunity to finish something I started over 20 years ago, this time with a little help from a friend;
- Know I am not alone and there are many good people who believe in me; and
- Remember just how beautiful my sparkly heart is.
So, as my 37th year on planet earth draws to a close, I am reclaiming my power and choosing to focus on the big, bold, and beautiful life that’s mine, all mine. This gratitude list will serve as my faithful companion, walking beside me and guiding me into the future. It’s a damn good foundation for me to build on, don’t you think? Watch out 38, cause here I come!
With all the love and gratitude in my sparkly heart,