A Letter to Myself on my 39th Birthday

Dear Self,

Today you turn 39. Can you believe it?

As a child you thought that number sounded ancient. You figured by this age you’d be a mom, already owning a home and a mini van. You didn’t realize that you wouldn’t FEEL 39. You didn’t know you’d still think the 1990’s happened 10 years ago nor did you believe that time really does speed up as you age. You didn’t believe people when they told you to embrace your youth. You had no idea back then that when people would tell you today that you look ten years younger than your actual age, you’d relish in it. (Luckily, you listened to advice to moisturize and wear sunblock.)

This is your last year in your 30’s and it’s going to be a huge year- moving from the only Seattle neighborhood you’ve known, leaving the apartment management gig, launching Jubilation Wedding & Event Management, owning a house with and getting married to an amazing man.

Take a deep breath.

Take another.

What I want you to remember is that: you deserve this. Every single good thing? You are worthy of it. You’ve worked so hard to get to this place- please do not discount that as you are wont to do. You have immersed yourself in years of therapy to grow emotionally stronger, worked two jobs for 4 years to pay off your debt and save money, dated a lot of not-it’s to find IT. You still work every day on yourself and on your relationship. You are always working to better yourself.

You’re relentless like that.

So can you please explain why you still beat yourself up when it comes to you looks? I happened upon a folder full of old photos the other day. The pictures spanned from college days to current and in every one, no matter if you were bigger or smaller than you are right this minute, you were pretty. I think about how many years (a lifetime!) you’ve spent not feeling good enough because your body does not fit some societal perfectionistic ideal of beauty and it breaks my heart. All that time! For what?! So what if you wore a size 22 once? Or for that matter, a size 9? So what if you are chubby? HOW DOES THAT DIMINISH YOUR WORTH? Whomever taught you this lesson was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Remember when you turned 30 and you gave yourself the gift of quitting smoking? How that internal resolve and commitment came from a place of self-love? It was the Best. Gift. Ever. Until now. Because now, today, on your 39th birthday, you’re giving up the body hatred and the self-loathing and the not-feeling-good-enough because you are not thin. You’re not going to berate yourself into submission. You’re not going to starve yourself or eat your feelings or wallow in guilt and shame. You’re going to exercise because you like it and it’s good for your health. You’re going to eat well because it tastes good and fuels your body. You’re going to BE NICE TO YOUR BODY because it will keep you around for a long time and you have a lot of living to do, so much to look forward to.

I know there will be days that you will screw up but just remember that in this life where time is fleeting, there is so much more to give your energy and attention to. You deserve to be happy, to be free from this negativity, to put all that freed up mind space to better use.

Let it go.

You don’t have to carry it. All the hurtful things people have said to you over the years? Leave it in the past. It does not serve you. All the times you succumbed to peer pressure and let yourself feel inadequate? Forgive yourself. You did the best that you could at the time.

Happy birthday, beautiful. Go live out loud.

Love,

Me

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39 thoughts on “A Letter to Myself on my 39th Birthday

  1. This is beautiful. Today is my birthday too, and I turn the big 4-0, which I’m having difficulty with, to tell you the truth. But your post reminds me to remind myself to be grateful for all the good stuff in my life and for everything I’ve achieved, and that I can give myself the gift of letting go of negative feelings that don’t change the past, won’t change the future, and only ruin the present.

    Happy birthday!

  2. You are an amazing woman, and YOU deserve every good thing that comes your way, and more.

    Thank YOU for giving me the hope and ways to find the strength to move on. You are indeed, quite a roll model.

    Happy Birthday, Sizzle!!

  3. You are such a beautiful person and beautiful soul, Sizzle! I love this letter. Happy birthday a million times over!

  4. You mean the 90’s were more than ten years ago? Whatever. I don’t believe it. I won’t believe it! 🙂

    Happy birthday, lovely lady. I love this so much and I know how sincere and beautiful it is, just like you. xo!

  5. This is an AWESOME letter, Sizzle. And you said it best – YOU DESERVE ALL OF THIS! You have a wonderful life, surrounded by wonderful people and loved by many. Let your 39th birthday and year ahead be brimming with love – self love and love from others, because it’s exactly what you deserve! Happy birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday, Sizz! You are beautiful both inside and out. Your kindness and love for others is one of the best traits a person could ever have. I am so happy you are finally realizing you are both beautiful, desirable and awesomely wonderful! Thirty-nine was one my best years ever. Enjoy it, embrace it and be it!:) xoxoxo

  7. Oh Happy Happy Happy Birthday. Your writing is beautiful, and so are you. Have an amazing start to this next fantastic year! 🙂

  8. Happy Birthday to one of the most vivacious, hilarious and gorgeous human beings I’m privileged to call a friend. You deserve all this and more. xoxo

  9. What a beautiful letter, Sizz. Happy Birthday! May you have a fantastic day and year to come! It does my heart good to see all the progress you’ve made since I started reading your blog some ridiculous number of years ago (really, it feels like it couldn’t possibly be more than 2, but I know it’s more like 6). Cheers!

  10. Beautiful Bunch of Sassy Gorgeousness,

    I read your letter-to-self and thought, “Dammit, that’s awesome!” I thought this in part because the letter read like some s*** I know that me and a bunch of other people have been telling you for years: namely, as a paean to a number of your very best features. Not your perfection, mind you. No, I’m talking about your other qualities. The ones that inspire and motivate…your willingness to write a public love letter to yourself that honors the journey you have made since you moved but doesn’t gloss over how much damn work it all was…your realization that you’ve managed to become a fully functional grown-up, even if it didn’t look the way your twelve year old self imagined it would…the way you managed to cobble together a family and a partnership that seemed, many times, to be out of reach.

    You’ve stuck with you, through thick and thin, year after year, never giving up. You treat yourself with the same respect and steadfastness that you treat your friends. To me, this speaks volumes about the Jonesy who is a gift to the world. My friend, whose weekly breakfast gabfests I still miss, but whose current life I would happily sacrifice years of pancakes for; my friend, whose commitment to growing and changing and learning puts most people I know to shame; my friend, who has lived a life of service and who the universe is finally starting to pay a few dividends to; my friend, who simultaneously understands exactly how much hard work it took her to get her where she is today, and is nonetheless at peace with the fact that there is always more work to be done.

    On this occasion of your 39th birthday, O Jones of my heart, I salute the hell out of you! I remember when you were 25 and you knocked my socks off. Now you’re 14 years older (so am I!) and I don’t even bother putting on socks around you any more. May your next 39 years be as productive, extraordinary, and growth-filled as your life thus far!

    With all my love,
    Bird

  11. I love this letter to yourself. You’re totally right about time speeding up as you age (why is that??), and YES, you’ve worked hard and long, so don’t discount the things you’ve accomplished! Happy birthday, Sizzle, may there be many more beautiful years and birthdays to come, and may you continue to be the beautiful person you are!

  12. Beautiful! I hope your birthday is fabulous and that you give yourself the gift of you for the rest of your years.

  13. Happy Birthday Sizzle, and I hope the next year brings countless blessings and joy and is better than you ever dreamed it would be. You’ve grown a lot just in the few years I’ve been reading your blog and I admire the hell out of you!

  14. What a wonderful, wonderful gift to give yourself. And one you totally TOTALLY deserve.

    Happy Birthday, and here’s a toast to a FABULOUS 39.

  15. What a great post. I want to give it a hug. I’m so proud of you – so proud to know you – so happy to have been able to watch all your progress over these past few years. You deserve every happiness. I hope you had a Happy Birthday. XO

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