A Gift To Myself For My 29th Birthday

 PHOTO BY:  MALACHI SALADO

PHOTO BY: MALACHI SALADO

Yesterday the first day of the last year of my twenties. Even though I have done a birthday photoshoot and filmed the Q & A (click HERE to watch that), it still hasn’t fully sunk in. There are some things in my personal life that I’m working through at this time which I’m sure has a lot to do with it but I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to you all about expectations, specifically the ones you have for yourself because if you’re like me and take measure of your life when you blow out candles, I want you to know that you’re not alone. And to remind you (and myself) that a lot can happen in a year.

I had mentioned last year in an Instagram post that the reason I had been so extra about turning twenty-eight was that turning twenty-seven, to me, had been a monumental disaster. I was so far from the life I had imagined for myself and instead of being in a career I love, married to the man that I love, with a child I love, in our own home and so on and so forth, I was living with my family in my mom’s house, still fighting to get divorced after almost two years of proceedings, wondering if my dogs were going to be taken from me, working a job that cut my hours in half despite being the best performing employee in my position. When I woke up that morning, I stared quietly at the ceiling feeling this enormous weight on my chest and tears soaking my face and pillow. I was miserable. The truth is, I knew even then that I had a lot to be thankful for - I had a place to live, I was no longer in an unhealthy romantic relationship, my dogs were physically with me, I had a job - so I didn’t want to seem ungrateful to my family by talking about how unhappy I was. Until I couldn’t hide it.

My mom had sent me to my grandmother’s house to pick up some food. When I arrived, she was still watching my little cousins while my aunt and her husband were at work. She handed me the youngest who at the time was less than a year old so that she could pack the food for me. That’s when the waterworks started. I explained in my post on Why I’m Not Moving to Los Angeles that one of my life’s goals - if not my greatest life’s goal - is to have a family of my own. So when my grandmother handed me the baby I could not stop myself from crying no matter how much I tried blinking them away or hiding my face. Because I couldn’t hide it anymore, I had to face my grandmother. I am grateful that it happened because it was almost like I had to face myself. Since we can’t fix what we don’t address, the more I tried to bury my emotions, the more they started to eat away at me from the inside. Fortunately, when I turned twenty-eight, things had taken a turn for the better. I was in a new, better-paying job. I had made fantastic new friends. In the months to follow, I started videography with Nightlife Visalia, made more friends, I was with someone that made me smile every day, and was generally on the polar opposite end of the spectrum from where I was a year prior.

But when you are on such a high plane, sometimes coming down hits you harder than you might have anticipated. The truth is, I expected a lot more out of my life by the time I was twenty-seven and arguably by now that I have not yet manifested into my life. I expected things to happen by a certain time in a certain way and clearly when I looked around at my life, I didn’t have them. And the truth is, I still struggle with this sometimes. I still struggle with the when and the how. However, I’ve decided I am going to take a page out of my good friend Dorian’s book and treat my birthday like New Year’s with a resolution to be more patient and more open to possibilities as a gift to my future self so that next year when I turn thirty, we will be talking about those manifestations that haven’t happened YET.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me to wish me a Happy Birthday. I am so grateful to all of you - more than you can know! 

Let me know in the comments: Do you take stock of your life on your birthday? What gift do you want to give yourself now for your future self?