Today I turn another year older and I say goodbye to one of the most challenging years of my life.
I learnt a lesson for the third time with the same person and realised that some people just don’t have the best intentions for your heart.
I resigned from a job that was a significant yet stagnant portion of my life for ten years and it walked me right out the door which was heartbreaking and disrespectful.
I also had the struggles of watching things go badly with my grandparents health. There’s a certain numbness you feel when there’s nothing you can do and all you can do is get up each day and keep going because you don’t know what’s around the corner.
Yet despite these things which made my 34th year a not so great time to remember, I also made choices which while difficult, were right.
I was careful with who I shared my time, my voice and my thoughts. I withdrew where necessary and spoke up where needed. And even though there were times things felt hopeless and I couldn’t see the light, I never stopped believing that there was some magic in the air every now and then.
I believed this when I connected with people who surprised me, who I didn’t know at all, but who let me in and loved me. I believed this when I held the strongest hands and had eyes I wish were mine, look so far beyond the surface it killed me to walk away. And I believed this when I had the kindest words uttered to me and knew I deserved more.
Growing up I remember the countdown to my birthday being this huge novelty. It was so exciting and fun and I just couldn’t wait to become that one year older. I don’t have that feeling anymore.
And not because of aging, but because there seems to be a lack of reason to celebrate.
Last year I cancelled my birthday. I basically treated it like it didn’t exist. I was nursing a broken heart, so as it was it wasn’t off to a good start, and when left with the prospect of choosing something to do in celebration of it, I realised my idea of fun and what would make my heart happy was not something those in my life would indulge me in.
So I chose not to acknowledge that I turned 34 at all.
Now I’m about to turn 35.
Has anything changed.
I guess my attitude has changed. This year I’m being positive. I’m actually organizing an outing with friends. I figure if I put good vibes out into the universe maybe this year will grace me with some love and light. But I’m not putting all my eggs into the happy basket. Why?
You see over the years I’ve learnt that sometimes the one thing that gives you the most happiness actually is the same thing that hurts you the most. It hurts because you invest all that you feel in it. You give your everything and you put all your hope out there that it’s going to be all you wished for and more because you want to believe that for a sliver of time things will be perfect.
But they rarely are and that’s normal because what is perfect anyways?
I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m just going to accept the day and this new year of life as it comes. I won’t place expectations on it. Instead I’ll just have a little faith…that maybe…somewhere along the way…there’ll be some magic in the air and I’ll get that sliver of perfect when I least expect it.
The older I get the more I learn that birthdays become less about parties and presents and more about genuine gestures and words.
It was my birthday yesterday and there were a few people I thought I’d hear from but I didn’t. Their silence said a lot even if I don’t understand it and it hurt.
The day didn’t go smoothly to say the least and there was almost a snowball effect of sh*tty things. But even though that put a dampener on the day, there was still so much positivity and love that it made the things that didn’t go right seem insignificant.
What mattered was those who took the time to call, text or leave a post on social media. What mattered was my best friend baking my favorite cheesecake so I would have candles on a cake to blow out. What mattered was my beautiful friend overseas having her sweetheart little boy sing happy birthday to me over the phone. What mattered was family knowing I didn’t have the best day and doing all they could to make me feel special, loved and happy.
It meant so much and helped brighten my day. All those things made it special and reiterated to me that being thoughtful means more than anything else. It’s the little things that are appreciated wholeheartedly and it’s those things you remember always.
So no matter what heartache or disappointment comes knocking on your door, there’s always something to balance the scales. You’ve just got to trust and believe.