For the longest time, I told myself I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t good at anything, I was in a cycle of negativity.
Until my 37th “birthday” I honestly couldn’t recall a happy or simply good birthday, every year the week of my birthday was just a miserable week where I would ultimately end up in tears and feeling completely alone in the world. Now this had nothing to do with age, I’ve never been someone to worry about how old I’m turning, age just really doesn’t bother me (well ok, so the wrinkles bother me a bit, but the age thing not so much). But it had everything to do with how my life until that point always been about someone else, trying to please someone else, trying to not be a burden on anyone, and just plain ole having some negative people in my life that I let treat me badly.. aka I was a doormat (the “was” is important here).
I still remember heading into my 35th birthday and my brother asked what I wanted (this was a very rare moment, as for 15 years we had lived in different countries and lets just say he has never been able to find the post office where he lives 🙂 ), I told him I honestly didn’t want anything, instead I wanted him to use that money to pay off some of his debt so he could fly home to see his kids and not spend it on material items for me, and instead of spending money my only ask was to just be nice to me for the day. My family being nice, without judgement and without name calling for the day would always mean more to me than any gift that can be purchased from a store. Well lets just say that answer did not go down well in my family at all, instead I was told I was selfish and ungrateful for not wanting a bought present from the store.. and so another rubbish birthday, in fact that one had me so stressed out that I ended up in bed by 6pm with a migraine and vomiting over the toilet by 8pm.. so yeah by this stage in my life I was really starting to dread the time of my birthday. Now to be fair to my brother he had no idea at this stage that I had been suffering from depression (although at this moment I also didn’t recognise that I was), so he truly had no idea how much just spending the day being nice to me or spending time with me at all would mean the world to me.. he didn’t find that out until I was 37, the moment I stopped being a doormat and started really verbalising my truth.
pheww that got a bit deep didn’t it! So… Heading into my 37th birthday I realised the only way to make changes was to start fresh, so I went extreme and banned my birthday. This did not go down well with my friends, and bless their hearts they tried everything to get me to reconsider, but I knew for my own sanity I needed to take a step back from making my life about everyone else and start living my life, at least a little bit, for me. So 1 August was transformed from my birthday to my “me” day. Come 1st August social media was disabled, phone switched off from receiving messages, day of leave taken at work… extreme I know, but man I had the best day getting hair done, a massage, pedicure, a lovely lunch down on the water front, a spot of reading, bit of Pilates, you get the drift.. all in all a bliss day with no drama and no tears, just a perfect day to reflect on the year past and the year ahead and to see the good in life.
As you can see over the course of my 37th year I did a lot of work on myself and finally learned that loving myself has nothing to do with what size I am or what I have or about who does or doesn’t like me. I finally learned that self-love was accepting my flaws, accepting my strengths, being kind to myself for who I am, appreciating the body I have (rolls and all, actually especially the rolls as they have kept me pretty warm this winter making for a cheap power bill hehe) for all the things it has carried me through.
So that brings me to day, in two days I turn 39.. eeekk…
Is my life where I thought it would be? well no, I mean growing up by now I thought I would be married and a mumma in my 20s…
But.. it doesn’t matter what I thought in my 20s! because I know in my heart and in my bones that my dream of motherhood is just around the corner, I can feel it. And, more than anything after 2 years of being kind to myself, and giving myself the breathing space, I know I am strong enough and love myself enough to share that love with a child and who knows maybe in my future I’ll even meet the man of my dreams.. never say never right?!
Here’s to being 39, may it be a fabulous year full of dreams becoming reality.
Count your life by smiles, not tears!