Happy 32nd Birthday! It’s pretty amazing, if you think about it. A lot has happened in this time, a lot of good, a lot of bad, a lot of joy, a lot of sadness, a lot of anger and a lot of forgiveness, and so much to learn and grow from.
They say (who are “they” anyways?) that the 30’s are the best years of your life. Your 20’s were certainly a decade of self-destruction that, let me remind you, you grew and blossomed through the cracks of. I’m so glad we have gotten to leave those years behind us, however there is so much that you have brought with you to make you a stronger and better person.
I know the 30’s feel far from the best years of your life thus far. In fact, they’ve been incredibly tough. You started your 30’s as a bereaved mother, a deep grief that you could have never been prepared for. You’ve endured the heartache of a miscarriage and the longing for children as infertility snuck it’s way into your already aching heart. I know you are fighting everyday to figure out how to honor Adeline and the miscarriage with as much grace as possible. You are using your story to connect with people from all over the globe that share your sorrow and your hope, to help break the stigma around pregnancy and infant loss, infertility and grief. Your story matters. Keep telling it.
You’re 30’s have also brought an abundance of gifts.
You married Dylan, your best friend, your partner in life, the father of your babies lost and your babies to come. He landed in your life with a sense of home and a love that puts your insecurities to rest and ignites the confidence you have locked away for so, so long. He is the silliness to your serious, he is the cool and collected to your anxiety, he is the laid back to your nervousness, he is the calm to your storm. He supports you in every aspect of your life and lives intertwined. He loves you deeply and without reservation.
You bought a house. You used to dog ear pages in the big, fat JCPenney catalogs with all the items you were going to someday fill every corner of your home with. You have a roof over your head, and walls you have painted yourself and so many images in your mind of what this house will transform into over the years to come with hard work and love. Your backyard fills with filtered light and dancing butterflies where you have spent time turning the crisp pages of books, playing games on the patio, laughing with friends and family, and have found a strange satisfaction for pulling weeds out of the pea gravel you can’t wait to get rid of.
You have new friendships with a trust that feels unfamiliar, fulfilling and freeing. Friendships that have come from unexpected places, with unexpected people who could not be more different than you yet so similar at the same time. But you also have the long-term, familiar friendships that have not wavered regardless of the different paths they have taken along the way. You have friendships around you that for the first time in your life you don’t feel like you need to be anybody other than yourself.
You have thrived at University of Washington in your program after over 10 years of doubting yourself and not believing that you could ever accomplish this. You have fought through your fear of school, fear of failure, fear of presentations, fear of anything less than perfect, fear of what others think. They have not gone away, but you have learned how to manage your fears and anxieties in order to reach the goals you’ve always wanted but have been too afraid to go after.
While it’s hard not to think about what you don’t have, especially when it (infertility and loss) has consumed you over the last two years, I want to remind you that you are doing the best that you can with what you have. You are still learning to love yourself, but holy smokes, look how far you have come and how much closer you are to yourself. You are beginning to believe in yourself and your capabilities and you are getting better at telling your inner critic that she won’t win.
You are taking care of you, which allows you to take care of others.
You are rocking this 30’s thing and carrying your hard shit like your favorite purse.
You are worthy, and you are starting to believe it.
Your story matters, and you are fiercely knocking down those walls to tell it.
You are so strong, and you deserve so much more credit than you give yourself.
Keep doing yoga.
Keep supporting others in areas you’ve always craved support.
Keep showing up for the people you love.
Keep being happier with relationships than with materialism.
Keep fueling your body with healthy choices, and occasional pizza and cheesecake.
Keep being you, because there is nothing better in the world than living and loving the skin that you live in.
Live like the 30’s are in fact the best years of your life. Believe in what is already in your life and what is to come. Your dreams may unfold differently than you imagined, and that’s ok, you can and you will still make them happen.
Happy birthday you fucking warrior!
I love you,