Thursday, August 30, was my 28th birthday.
Over the last couple of months, I have been on a path toward knowing myself and my loved ones more honestly and wholly. It has been excruciating at times. But as I step into another year of life, another year older, my prayer is to continue even further forward into the light and darkness that is me, that is we, that is us. As I am more open to myself, I see that God is strong enough to carry all that is ME. And I am freed up to be more open to others. There is more space in my own soul to carry and truly SEE the souls of dear ones in my life.
On my birthday, I learned more nuances about myself that I didn't know as deeply before. I realized that I am sensitive when it comes to how I celebrate/am celebrated on the day itself. I've discovered since getting married that an important part of my identity is to be a "low maintenance", "go with the flow" kinda woman. And I suppose in some areas I am pretty flexible and laid back. But sometimes this expectation causes me to stuff my emotions and to be out of touch with how I really feel, who I really am.
Over the last 5 years of marriage, I have seen my "princess-self" come out in my expectations for my birthday. I love to celebrate in general and do so any chance I get. And I am happy to be the one to create celebratory festivities. But there's just something about the day of my birth. I have grand expectations that don't involve ME lifting a finger. Ya know the old saying: "queen for a day"? Well, you get the idea.
All that to say, I had high expectations for my birthday. At the end of the day, looking back, I was able to see that it turned out just fine. I enjoyed many calls, emails, cheerful messages on facebook, a dinner at my in-laws home, marshmallow roasting and a thoughtful card from my husband in the evening. It was a full day. But for some reason, I felt lonely and overlooked, and I figuratively held my breath all day, waiting to be dissapointed.
The next morning when I awoke, I was perplexed by how expectation-tinged the day before had been. It seemed in my mind, that every acknowledgement was simply a trailer to the main event. But what is the main event? I don't even know. And I'm not sure why I wait for it, whatever it is. And though I wanted to have different emotions and perspective, it was hard to shake how I was REALLY feeling and it seemed important to take a look at and listen to the responses bubbling up in me.
Shadowed Perspective. Unrealistic Expectation. Discontentment. These are mindsets I am struggling through right now. This is part of my path of discovery: letting the real stuff emerge so I can keep what is healthy and redirect what is unhealthy, with lots of Divine intervention.
That night (last night) my dear friend Mary organized a party for me with 9 girlfriends at a local Pub/Microbrewery called Mission Springs. Because it wasn't the day itself, I felt so freed up to enjoy and have no expectations and we had a blast! I must say that even if I had maintained lofty expectations, her and everyone's thoughtfulness would have exceeded them! We stayed from 8- midnight, talked easily over pitchers of margaritas and yummy food, and enjoyed a night out without children underfoot. It was a wonderful time.
And here I am tonight, 28, and feeling full and content with my life. It's funny (and downright unnerving, irritating, disconcerting) to ride the waves of emotions some days. And yes, sometimes I am a princess. Sometimes I am a "high maintenance" woman. And ya know what? I am okay with that. And I think my husband is too. As long as I don't deny it. It's all about not denying it.
"Fundamental change is not a casual occurrence. We cannot casually commit to the process of spiritual transformation...Our entire being is called to the task, for the journey from density to light involves every aspect of who we are." Marianne Williamson