Posted on | May 7, 2012 | 52 Comments
photo by lmr photography
it’s always a good thing when your birthday rolls around and you reflect on the past year and realize that yes, you did learn something and yes, you are getting wiser. i always hope for that, but this last year has really brought a new level of understanding of myself, how i can be at times, and making a conscious effort to change the things i don’t like about myself and my life. that whole ‘acceptance is the first step’ really is true, isn’t it?
i’m the type of person who is always worrying, thinking, unfortunately dwelling. i’ve always envied people who can let things roll off of their backs while i’m sitting there for the 3rd day wondering how many ways i offended that checker i didn’t smile at because i was frazzled. move the eff on, you know? even being fully aware of my problems they sometimes cannot be helped. some would say it’s because i’m too nice. i don’t know though because there are days i don’t even feel like a nice person. congrats, i’m crazy like everyone else, right? go team.
i was really looking forward to turning 30. i felt crazy for feeling that way, but really, 30 has been great. getting older doesn’t scare me like it did when i was in my early 20′s and i think it’s because i just keep learning important lessons and growing. being a mom has been such a huge part of that all – the last 3 and half years i have learned more from Harper than i can even articulate. there was a while there where i wasn’t sure i was cut out for this job. shit, there are still days here and there where i don’t know. but i don’t think i’ve ever felt as confident as a mother than i have this past year. i see new moms struggling and i want to shake them (in a kind way) and tell them is does get so much better. things do not come naturally to all people. you’re not a lesser person, or parent, because of it. this is hard to realize when you are in the trenches, or when the people around you seem to do it effortlessly. be assured, they are liars – parenting is the furthest thing from effortless.
i think most people get to an age where in regards to friendship, you just need to take inventory. this past year was that for me. i started thinking about how i see my life and the people in it in say, 10 years. i had to sadly get rid of some toxicity that was bringing me down and pull closer the ones who only lifted me up. people change and it’s ok to part ways (this is a really hard lesson to learn). i have always been a person who can blame just about anyone else but myself, but the past few years – especially this last one – i’ve become better at taking things that people have to say and thinking about why they feel that way. instead of writing it off as their problem, i take a look at how much of it is mine. it’s hard and it’s not fun. but when you learn to accept your faults instead of ignore them, a weight is really lifted. if i’ve examined the criticism and found that the person is still wrong, that is fine, but at least i tried to see where they were coming from. their opinion of me still doesn’t change my truth.
my friend Jill wrote a post in which she talked about who she is ok with disappointing and i feel exactly as she does. i’m ok with disappointing you, my readers, if i have to. of course i don’t want to but i have to be ok with it because i am not, not ever, ok with disappointing my family. blogging here started by accident and i never intended it to be what it is. but i love it, appreciate it, and know it is now a part of my life and identity even. but it still isn’t my job (i have one of those, with a really cute and very demanding boss), even if some of you would beg to differ (see up there about being ok with other people’s differing opinions). this past year has probably been the weirdest when it comes to blogging and how i feel about it, but the bottom line, and thing i always come back to, is that i love it. i love having a space that is mine, ours. sometimes i go back and read old posts and feel so grateful that no matter what happens here in the future, i have a solid, written account of the early years of Harper’s life.
i’ve always been ok with sitting back and taking what life hands me. there were years where i just felt like life was crapping on me and all the people i cared about. i’ve spent a lot of my time being mad and pessimistic. that is all no longer ok with me. this life is it, it’s all i’ve got. i want to keep running, something that is really satisfying to me and also something i NEVER thought i’d do, ever. i want to cook more, i want to take photography classes, art classes (watercolor anyone?) and i want to buy a house with space for a garden so we can grow vegetables. i want to have another baby.
the end of this month brings my golden birthday (31 on the 31st). i’m on my way to being mid-thirties. i’m a thirty-something, officially. this is terrifying and empowering information. i’m not scared. sure i could (really) do without the gray hair, crows feet, sagging under arm area (seriously GET OUT OF HERE) and mysterious hairs (y u no stay on my head?), but i’ll take those if they come with the other stuff. i’m excited to see what this year brings and i’m excited to look back on this post next may and see how things have changed even further.
31, i am excited to be you.