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.
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.