Birthdays are a BIG deal for me (ask my sisters and they’ll tell you, I’ve been celebrating for 38 years…literally every day…), I love celebrating everyone’s birthday because it’s their special day

For my birthday, I write a letter to myself. It’s mostly a reflection on the past year and planning the year ahead. On the heels of #allthings2020 I wanted this letter to be prolific, I had big hopes of an awakening of sorts—with new ah-ha’s revealed and a master plan on exactly how for us all to move forward in life.

The truth is, what came forward for me was more of a confirmation that while this last year might have felt like a hard road trip around the sun, I have a lot to be grateful for. For both the hard lessons and the ah-ha’s along the way. It wasn’t all bad but it wasn’t all kumbaya’s either.

Mostly what I learned is that I’m on the right path. It’s not easy and the more I expect it to be a gilded ride, the more I’m going to be disappointed. I live and I learn but what I did realize is that the lessons come forward for me better when I stop holding myself back and hiding.

This year isn’t about some BIG ah-ha’s, it’s about reminding myself who exactly I am. Because sometimes we don’t need ah-ha, sometimes we need, “Yup, you’re not f*cking up too badly.”

Here it is… An Open Letter to Myself on my 38th Birthday…

I don’t know where to start but I want to be clear that I’m learning. (Hello universe, do you hear me and could you take it easy on the delivery of these lessons, sometimes they feel more like a kick to the ass rather than an atta girl….)

It’s hard to articulate the lessons exactly. While for the most part, they have been lessons hard won, I try to take in what I’m learning and share it in a way that’s relatable for everyone around me—just for the fact that we are all elbows deep in life right now and sometimes it just takes one person who is brave enough to put what’s real out there and other people say, “Yes, me too.”

What did I learn in this last year… I’ve learned we don’t get to just pick and choose the lessons that are going to be “the easiest.” 

I’ve learned that there’s no more hiding, I’m not taking that into 38 with me. There’s no more playing small. There’s no more “thinking about it,” or “working on it” (when no actual work is getting done).

When I commit to myself, I commit to all of life, not just the parts that are “happy” or “feel good.” You don’t get to just say YES to life as long as it’s puppies and sunshine—to truly say YES, to open my arms wide to YES—well, that means I’m going to have to navigate some hard times. But I’ll be ok. I can handle it. And actually, I’m not doing too bad.

I’ve learned that I’m no longer available to hold back, be stuck, or believe some bullshit narrative on what’s possible for me. My life is what I craft it to be and I want it wide open for the celebrating of being fully me.

I think in some ways I’ve tried to be PC, to say the right thing at the right moment so much so that I’ve bitten my tongue, shoved my feelings in the back of the closet, and put a smile on my face when that wasn’t how I was feeling.

Like most t of us, I feel like I’ve compared my pain to others in a way that’s not fair. Not fair to me and not fair to them—I tell myself, “It’s not too bad, it could be worse.”

But here’s the truth—fuck that.

Life isn’t an endurance contest.

It’s not about tolerating or seeing just how much I can put up with in an effort to “make it through” when all the cost of that ends up me. I end up as the casualty. I’m not here to be a casualty of my life, I’m here to live the whole thing with arms wide open.

I don’t know all the answers, that’s really humbling for me. I try to predict the future, make moves based on what outcome I want but all of that trying is exhausting. I have to just be me.

No more letting the story of uncertainty get the best of me. I will just be 100% me each and every day. And some days that will be messy and somedays that will be triumphant. The thing is—it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be calculated to make sure that everyone and everything is ok. It just has to be true and real and sometimes what’s real in life is messy.

Here’s to 38, you’re going to be great. And even if you aren’t, you’ll be ok.

A dear friend of mine asked me this morning, “How are you feeling?” I replied, “Grounded, bold, worthy, triumphant, hopeful, loved, deserving, happy.”

She proceeded to make me a playlist that I’ve been listening to while I type this to you—so far I’ve listened to…Walking on Sunshine, Flo Rida, ABBA, Imagine Dragons, and Madonna.

I’d say she got it right. It’s pretty much like life—it doesn’t have to be choreographed and perfect but it does have to be all mine.

Thank you to everyone who reached out with their messages of love and light and laughs—the voice texts have been hilarious. Keep them coming!

Sometimes, I’m a little afraid to be a mess—I like having my shit together or at least a plan on how to move forward but this is uncharted territory…

So here’s to 38, at the risk of sounding cheesy and hopeful (although I’m usually a little bit cheesy and hopeful), let’s make this the best one yet…

P.S. As I reread this for editing, the Spice Girls came on….nailed it.