Yesterday, April 15th, was my 27th birthday!
I've never been too into birthdays. In fact, in my earlier years, you could often find me in a puddle of tears at the end of a birthday mourning the fact that I have turned yet another year older. Oh, to be 14 again ;)
I spent many birthdays pretending I didn't want to be acknowledged or celebrated and always insisted that I didn't want to do anything special. My parents would probably say I often made it difficult for them to do anything for me, as I proclaimed each year that I just don't like birthdays.
As I've gotten older though, and perhaps somewhat wiser, I've come to realize that birthdays should be celebrated. I still insist on no extravagant measures, and I truly have no desire for any object/gift/present on the day I turn another year older. But I finally find the beauty in not only allowing others to celebrate you and what you bring to their world, but for you to celebrate yourself.
Perhaps it was shame and lack of self-acceptance that caused me to crumble under the attention a birthday can bring. It makes sense if you think about it - if you have a hard time loving and accepting yourself, how can you appreciate and accept others who do? While I am no expert in this department, and I am a self-love work in progress, slowly but surely I am seeing the gifts of life and love, and allowing others to see me in the light I am working to see myself.
Birthdays have become a time of reflection for me. I look back at the my early 20's and realize how truly young I was (don't worry, I know I am still very young... but there is an innocence to those early 20's that I never saw while I was in it). I find that I am grateful for the awkwardness and instability of those early years - they made me into who I am. Had one fumble or mistake been avoided, had one less heartache not happened, had I not taken risks and leaps of faith, I am certain I would not be where I am. I stumbled often, and still continue to, but a birthday is a great time to realize how much I have learned and how far I have come.
I am going into my twenty seventh year with one main objective - to continue this process of learning and growing and accepting all that I am. Contrary to my previous early-20s beliefs, I will never achieve perfection. I will never have it all figured out. But I do have today to share my life with my most cherished loved ones, and to appreciate and accept their love for me. Especially when that love is a box of special ordered gluten free "Death by Chocolate" cupcakes delivered in person by my handsome husband during lunch on my birthday :)
Happy Thursday, friends. I hope you make it a great day!