“Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it’s the ocean.”
That quote though! It was deep right? It pretty much sums up where I am in life. As of 4:02am this morning, I turned 31 and it’s only now that I feel like I’m getting a grip on this thing called life. Weeks prior (ok, months because I’m a super early bday planner) I started brainstorming birthday celebration ideas and I realized I wasn’t really into it this year. This wouldn’t be unusual, save for the fact that I’m usually really excited about my birthday; I mean there was the time I turned 25 and threw myself a Mardi Gras themed birthday bash with a two-tiered cake and all or when I turned 29 and had all my friends come out in 80s attire, but here was 31 looming around the corner and I wasn’t moved. I was a little concerned at first, asking myself, ‘Am I depressed? Perhaps sad? What was wrong?’ Then it finally hit me; nothing was wrong; I was just changing. I realized EVERY year prior, my need to celebrate my birthday was driven by a desire to feel validated. I would go out of my way to plan, organize, sometimes cook, spend money, invite people and then follow up to make sure said people were coming to my event, etc. Talk about exhausting; and for what? All in the name of feeling ‘special’. :::rollseyes::: And of course, let us not forget the added pressure of social media, and wanting the world to know your birthday was lit. Bangin’ outfit? Check. Squad? Check. Restaurant and/or club for the meetup? Check. All in the name of #NOFOMO right?! Whatevs yo!
I have already spent most of my life worried about people and things that didn’t matter; feeling as if I had something to prove and many to prove it to. There was always this desperate need to feel as if I had ‘arrived;’ only to now realize what a fallacy this is. The past has past, but I can learn definitely learn from it. And what I have learned is that I am a fine wine, only getting better with age. My best is yet to come, and as cliche as this is going to sound, the beauty of this life we live is not in getting to a destination, but within the journey itself! Some nuggets I have taken away:
- being at peace with myself sets the tone for peace in other areas of my life
- adversity is really the most effective tool for growth, and
- most importantly, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Phillipians 4:13)
So, on that note I am wishing myself a Happy 31st Birthday! “Dearest Genevieve, May 31 be kind to you. May the laughter be often. May the tears be few. Forgive the mistakes of your past. Love harder. Pursue excellence. Cherish those you love and never, ever forget to live in the moment! I love you.”
*About The Pictures* Special thanks and sincere gratitude goes out to Vania J. Arroyo for makeup, hair & photography! That’s right! My girl is a triple force to be reckoned with! I also have to thank Bèl Monique for the awesome tank top (I wore a white tee underneath) and for always encouraging me to focus on my goals! This blog post seriously would not have happened had she not challenged me to do so! My long, beautiful maroon tutu skirt is handmade from I Love FGC and photos were shot on location at Casa B Restaurant in Somerville, MA.