I spent the opening hours of my birthday reading posts on From A Wildflower, with my son’s snoring and re-runs of ratchet reality Mondays in the background. Not a celebratory glass of wine, or anything with bubbles in sight. Just me, my “bye Felicia” braids, and eyes heavy from a long day of staring at a computer screen. Oddly enough, there really isn’t anything else that I wanted be doing besides cuddling with my husband. Either way, the clock strikes 12…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?”
Today is my birthday. I turn 26. How do I feel? I feel complete. I feel wise. I feel self-actualized. And perhaps my ghost of birthdays, future is standing next to my 30-year-old self like “girl please” — kind of like the same way I look back at my 16-year-old self — but regardless of how I’ll feel about it later, I like who I am on THIS day. I like that I’m unapologetic about what I think or feel, and I love that I’ve developed enough wisdom to recognize when it’s appropriate to share. I like that I have the skill to argue with the greatest of debaters, and that I’ve developed the maturity to know when to let things go — sometimes.
I’ve emerged from a shy, self-conscious, girl who tried too hard to be cool at one point, to a confident, unapologetic, empathetic, wise and mature woman. I appreciate all the growth I’ve experienced, but I know there’s more. In this 26th year of my life, I want to become influential, and I want to become fearless.
“You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it is in everyone.”
All my life, I’ve convinced myself that I wanted to play the background. Mostly because I was shy, but also because I was afraid of what people would think of me, and even more afraid of what they would say out loud. I never wanted to try too hard, because I didn’t want to be the girl who “tried too hard”. I didn’t want to walk in my confidence because I didn’t want to be the girl who “thought she was all that”. Where did that get me? Mediocrity. And somehow I still became that girl who “thought I was all that”.
Looking back, all this really was, was a fear of rejection. I didn’t want to share my gifts with people, out of fear that they wouldn’t be received well. I didn’t want to be criticized, or told I wasn’t good enough, or even told that I was doing the most. So I didn’t do anything. At 26, that time is up, and this light is ON. I will pitch publications. I will shamelessly promote my work on all of my social networking sites, and I will openly acknowledge those who inspire me and support me.
“And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson.
A funny thing happens when you finally discover your light. You realize that no matter what anyone else has going on, what is for you is ONLY for you. It doesn’t kill you to compliment someone else, or share someone else’s work, or to recognize that his new girlfriend IS actually pretty. Who cares? No skin off of your back and no light from your candle. Sure there are people who are smarter, stronger, prettier, more fit, or make more money, and sure there are people who aren’t as smart, strong, pretty,or fit. But when you discover YOUR magic, there isn’t a thing anyone can do to turn you down. Who gon’ check me boo?
So yes. 26. The year of relentless pursuit of my dreams, the year of influence, the year of fearlessness and the year of turning my light all the way up.
And today? Well, I baked myself some dark chocolate cookies last night, without chocolate chips, because yuck. I ate one for breakfast because I’m trill like that. I’m having lunch with my husband, probably go get a mani and pedi after work. Go home, play with my Carter and cuddle with my husband until I fall asleep. And in my dreams, I’ll be plotting on how to take over the world.