Tomorrow is my birthday.
It is my Golden Birthday.
By the age of 28, I had always planned to be having my first baby.
Ironically enough, I am the one being reborn.
"In high school I was THAT girl."
I could tell you verbatim that I'd be married by 24-25, have a house by 26-27, and for my golden birthday, I would have my first child. Point. Blank. Period. I had my whole life mapped out. I would play college ball. I would major in education. I would be the PE teacher at WHS and raising a family in good ole Whiting, In. The End.
I was dead serious and was simply a matter of time. Unsurprising to most, I made most of that stuff happen. Other than a few compromises, I had achieved what I set out to do and was well on my way to scratching off my life "to-do" list one by one....all before the age of 30.
My mom had me when she was 28. She shared her stories about the joys of motherhood and it set the tone for my entire future. I grew up knowing people idolize the selfless saint that my Mother, THE Deb, is and I wanted to even become half of that. So I learned how to work hard to earn my stripes. I thought there was a 'right way' to do things. I always imagined a certain white picket version of success that I thought would mean I 'made it' in life.
Until the ripe old age of 27, the high school version of me got to dictate the way that my adult life was going to go. I was skipping right along on that path with bells on. It took stopping me dead in my tracks to end my relentless chase for that perceived perfection of success. Divorce forced me to take a much closer look at how I was living to impress as opposed to living on purpose. It took divorce to have the adult version of me create the adult version of my life! AND WITHOUT ANYONE'S APPROVAL! It was an incredible reality to face and it took a lot of soul-searching (and a little grief) to truly come to terms with the way things were going.
Initially, I was struggling with having a failed marriage. I was going through major breakdown and I was still trying to get away with living a normal life. I was determined to escape this event with a clean record. Life felt like the moment in movies where the bad guy gets busted and all the lights and alarms are going off and the cops come rushing to the scene. Total overwhelm and chaos. Of course, I had no where to run or hide. I threw my hands up, fell to my knees, and turned myself in. I surrendered the life I was living.
It truly took my story being taken away for me to realize I was living someone else's story. Add in the fact that between the ages of 22-26, I had full blown (self diagnosed) Social Media Syndrome. Like many of us, I was racing to keep up with where I thought should be in life as I scrolled through facebook and insta; tracking my own progress.
This perceived loss had me cowering and licking my wounds nearly this whole year. Any amount of growth I felt came matched with fear of new failure or rejection. Because if it happened once, it can happen again, right?!? I would catch myself "braced for impact" of new or different forms of trauma. This had me avoiding full blown progress and possibility. This also, was no way to live. I had to consciously decide to start choosing different in spite of my subconscious (and very deep rooted) fears.
I began to choose differently. I stepped INTO and then OUT OF suffering in order to better understand it. I walked through the chest burning fires of anxiety to singe off my layers of worry. I sat right there in time out as I threw temper tantrum AFTER TEMPTER TANTRUM streaming tears of "life's not fair." I touched the stove of self development time after time to learn "ouch, that burns" or "hey, I don't like that."
I stayed in the game of self development despite the growing pains and have learned to absolutely love it. I have learned to absolutely love myself. I learned that I am perfectly fine and so is everyone and everything. We all have room to grow but where we are is simply a result of the choices we make and patterns we play out.
My pattern was work hard, win, earn approval, in order to feel love. Externally driven, that pattern proved tiresome in every endeavor.
I reaped loads of results but none truly felt fulfilling.
A few new patterns that I have created in my transformation:
-Do what makes you happy and things that make you happy will find their way to you.
-Practice wellness and self love constantly in order to remember that you are the primary source of that experience. It does not come from others.
-Create your conditions of satisfaction in every aspect of your life. Set your boundaries and stick with them. You will teach others how you want to be treated. There will be a healthy focus on what generates your Joy and what you will not compromise.
-Dig deep to find your super power, find out what is blocking it, remove that, harness that power, and release it into the wild.
-Get connected to your own heart in order to be with the hearts of others. Quality connections directly relate to quality of life.
-Adventure, adventure, ADVENTURE! ...maybe even get lost! You'll be found.
-Speak your truths, state your needs, accept support that comes your way.
These are just a few practices I have developed in my growth this year.
I feel supported and ready to create many more. I am living at my highest and best even when I am in my growth spurts.
Everyday is new and everyday I feel new. I feel fresh. I feel powerful.
I feel reborn into womanhood in a very cleansed type of way.
My quarter life crisis...it's going pretty good.
I can with most certainty confirm for you that I am indeed, living the life that I love.
I encourage you to do the same.