It is here. It is official. My birthday has descended upon us and I’m in full form. I shall be celebrating all month, so you all get ready! Don’t think I’m kidding either. Mr. Houseful has learned the hard way that I. DO. NOT. KID. about my birthday! I’m 34 years old today. Which essentially means, today is the beginning of my 35th year, and well I’m not sure that I’m entirely ready to talk about that.
When I think about this last year, I’m a bit floored. I mean, I’ve been living a pretty awesome life in general, but this past YEAR has let me know that we live life hard over in this house. No. I live life hard. I love hard as well. It might also be to a fault, but I don’t think that I will ever change that. So many of my favorite humans have left this earth in what I have deemed a too early mode. My Granny Blackburn, my pastor, my sister, Jessica, and my grandfather. Celebrities that I love but who had no idea who I was have also left, and it never changes the way that I think about life.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression last year. I’m okay with that. It doesn’t mean that I’m an Eeyore, it just means that I have these small times that I feel overwhelmed with sadness. Looking back at the last 365 days has let me know that I’ve made HUGE strides in the way that I think, talk, and act. I’m still not rich, but I have more money. I’m still not a degree holding person, but I’ve learned a ton. I may not have a mansion but I’m about to sign papers to a BRAND NEW HOUSE. You see? Reflection, and change of mindset is everything.
Sure, I’m still stressed. At this moment, I’m worried about a surgery that I need to have because my innards aren’t cooperating the way that they did before children. I’m scared, but I’m HERE. I’m 34. I made it. I still dance. I still laugh. I still live.
I often go through times where I think that God has kind of gotten fed up with me. Me. The wife of a minister. The daughter of an evangelist, and the child that grew up in church. I think maybe I ask too many questions, am too secular, or just too weird to call myself a Christian. I look at people for who they are, not how they identify, and I’ve positioned myself in such a way that I want to love, all the time. I’ve noticed that while I still do have a very limited threshold for silliness – and not the toddler type of silly, we can do that all day – I’m talking all the -isms, I am learning to be gracious and aware of the way that I treat other individuals who don’t look, act, sound, or believe like I do. Does this mean that I’m throwing away my religion. Nope. I just choose to understand that everyone doesn’t believe like I do, and I can’t force them to. I can, however, be kind and a living example of what I do believe.
In the last 365 days, I’ve been stretched beyond what I thought possible. I’ve worked with brands that I love, and been noticed by people who I didn’t even realize had me on their radar. I’ve traveled, I’ve spoken, I’ve enjoyed.
I’m getting comfortable in the skin I’m in. I’m not sure why it has taken so long for me to get here, and I’m sure most people would state that they thought that I was already pretty darn comfortable in general. I’m loving my curls, my curves (for the most part) my slightly closed right eye, and my lisp. I love the caramel complexion that looks back at me when I stare at it in the mirror. I love that it has survived. Kept moving. Kept believing. Kept trusting.
I’m grateful for the ability to sound off when I want and how I want. For the laughter, the tears, the moments of silence that I have had in the last year. I’m happy that I’ve learned, taught, and observed.
I’ve shamelessly yelled my love for Bruno, Benedict and Tom and Will and been secure in being a nerd with an eye for sexy.
I’ve started to look at my husband differently. I married him when I was 27. It’s been almost seven years, and each year, while learning about myself, I learn about him. I learn that he pushes me to those areas of discomfort that I need to go to in order to stretch, learn, and grow. I’ve learned that sometimes I hate him, even to the point where I can go hours without talking, but I have never, ever stopped loving him. He’s always been my friend – even when I’ve been less than to him.
34 is bringing the fact that 40 is not that far off. I’ll be there before I know it. But before I get there, I want to travel more. Laugh more. Cry more. Observe more. I want to hug my friends and families tighter, and love harder. I want to live until it bursts from my soul.
I want to do 34, squared.