Tomorrow is my birthday. I love my birthday. I’m not overly sad about aging because my life has elements today that are so much greater than I ever imagined I deserved.
Again, I read the words I wrote last year at this time. What I hear in them is an honest confession, with a tiny gap in the slats to let in a ray of hope for improvement. And I’m glad I left room for that hope, because it turns out I’m a much better, healthier version of myself this year. Specifically, I’m more purposeful in how I spend my time, I’m more present at any given moment, and I’m listening more than talking. This may sound like boasting, because it kind of is, but it took a lot of uncomfortably humbling self-reflection to get here. And here is an ever-changing place, isn’t it? Here feels like a real thing until a diagnosis or a death or anything that makes you realize you thought you were here, but you were actually there the whole time.
Scene *just now*: Kulguy walks down the stairs and sees me typing in a word doc. I look up, straining my eyes in a far-off gaze of self-reflection.
Me: “Describe me this year in five words.”
Kuhlguy *in five words: “No. This is a trick.”
I snap back from there to here. Since this is a self-titled, self-indulgent post, I will leave you with something beautiful a friend wrote to me this year:
It’s ok to love people. It’s ok to put yourself out there. It’s ok to get hurt. We all have permission to do this but we don’t. It’s that simple, we choose not to do it. We choose the easier path. But here’s the thing, Emily, you don’t. You choose the harder path and not because you like the pain but because you are fearless with your feelings. It’s gangster. Who gives themselves permission to love like that? Jesus, it’s reckless! You let yourself love hard and get hurt hard and you do it all over again.
Now, more than ever before, I realize I inherited this quality from my parents. And that makes my heart so happy because it reminds me that everything I’ve been through is what got me here. For now.