so here is the you - knew-it-was-coming annual birthday retrospective. buckle up.
i have been 30 years old for about 1 day now. most everything feels the same. i even got carded again, which is sort of amusing but also sort of embarrassing.
i was thinking back to my birthday last year and am really taken aback at how different life is now than it was then. last year i decided on a theme for my birthday day, as well as for the year ahead, to revolve around courage, movement, and self-love. K R and C, my good friends, put up with my wackiness on that day. and still ask me how my theme is going. Well, here's the yearly report.
It is so weird to think about the place that i was in a year ago. so . . . stuck. in so many ways. mentally, emotionally, even physically in many aspects of my life. i felt like i was in a huge hole that i couldn't possibly climb out of. i wallowed in hurts and was licking my wounds, scared to interact with the world and to trust again.
Courage was really important because all i wanted to do was cocoon myself and protect myself from the world. so much hurt and pain from everywhere. when i was younger i used to feel almost no emotion about anything - it was a way to protect myself from so much confusion and hurt. in college, in community, i learned to turn the switch on and feel . . . . which was exciting for awhile but once things turned sour i felt i had no skills to deal with it. That sort of kicked my ass with a vengeance during this time. i am a sensitive soul - perhaps too sensitive - in shocking contrast to who i was in my youth. I could probably have a better balance for this now, and am working on that. this quote resonated with me this week, being the feminist Bitch that i am;
Not all Bitches make it. Instead of calluses, they develop open sores. Instead of confidence, they develop an unhealthy sensitivity to rejection. Seemingly tough on the outside, on the inside they are a bloody pulp, raw from the lifelong verbal whipping they have had to endure - the BITCH manifesto
so after this year of whipping from all sides, i wanted to lock myself in a vault and forget about everything. Courage was important for me to not give up and to keep moving forward with life. And somewhere I found it. Thailand was a symbolically significant time for this. And I couldn't have found this courage without my community.
Movement - related. My psyche was so stuck in this place that i couldn't see which way was up anymore. dark dark dark. so much happened that year, all at once - the details of which i can't put on this page because it involves too many people i love. i felt that no matter how i tried, i couldn't get over this damned barrier. but somewhere along the way i have. clearly. i am no longer stuck in that mindset or thought pattern. i feel victorious and i also feel exhausted. and happy. and bigger and stronger.
self-love - if there is anything i still need to work on, it is this. i just don't know how to. it is difficult to unlearn everything you have been taught since a child. feminism has saved my life in this way and has allowed me to realize and believe that my voice is important, that i am important, that i am worth being listened to, that i will not be treated like i am not important anymore. victory on that! less victory on translating those into feeling that i am worth love, commitment, loyalty, time, gifts. less victory over my overwhelming reflex of self-blame for everything that goes wrong.
so... this year has brought much change, and many blessings. courage and movement - check. self-love - mini-check; still working on this one.
upcoming 2 posts: how God fits into all of this, and my focus for this coming year. stay tuned . . .