This is 50

I’m a half-a-century old today.

I have a very vivid memory of teasing my aunt on her 50th birthday. I had just learned that 100 years was a century…so when Aunt Dorpie (as I called her) turned 50, I was brutal with the half-century remarks. Because that seemed ancient to me. How could ANYONE even walk at that age, much less run a business.

Oh, the arrogance and ignorance of youth… Of course, I had no idea that when I turned 50 not only would I be proud of it, I’d be excited! I wouldn’t have one foot in the grave as I assumed. I wouldn’t feel a day over 20 something (ok, maybe 30 something) and I would be planning ahead for the next 50 years.

So much life has been lived over the past 50 years. There’s been lots of happy, lots of sad, some pain, some trauma, some loss and lots of healing. (Trust me when I say, therapy is worth every goddamned dime you spend on it and everyone needs to make it a priority. I will preach this until the day I die, which I plan to be somewhere around 101 years old…)

The past few years I’ve been focusing on setting boundaries. It’s difficult to do when you’re a fixer. You want to help make everything better, especially when it involves people you love. You see a situation so clearly and all you want to do is put your fingers in the ball of chaos and help untangle it. But you can’t fix everything. I had to learn to take a step back. Make my needs a priority. Find my voice. And understand that I can’t fix everything, even if the answer is so clear to me it’s slapping me in the face. I had to learn to trust myself and my instincts. I had to stop allowing myself to be pulled into situations that sucked my life dry…did not bring me joy or help me grow.

It’s not easy to do and I still struggle with this on a daily basis. But, if I want to live to be 101, then by the goddess, it’s way past time for me to make mental health a fucking priority.

(if any of this resonates with you, GET THEE TO A THERAPIST STAT) Yeah, I know, I’m preaching from my soapbox. Deal with it.

This year, I’m focusing on stepping outside of my comfort zone. Pushing myself to pursue creativity in a way I’ve not allowed myself to do before. The Manpanion keeps saying, “Baby, the desire to create is pouring out of you. Stop censoring yourself and let it flow.” I’m trying but it’s hard.  I spent my childhood tamping down my creative side. It made me weird. It made me stand out. Neither of those things were encouraged in our house because people might notice I was different. Also, I was raised to believe it was more important to get a traditional education/job  than pursue anything creative. Sure, art is a great hobby. But it’s not something you should try to make a living doing. I don’t blame my parents for teaching me what they thought was best. I understand it. But as a person who never quite felt myself, I also understand how damaging it can be to force a kid into a different mold.

It’s something I took to heart and it’s why I parented the way I did. Find yourself. Be yourself. Be happy at whatever you choose to do. And don’t ever let me put my expectations on you and make you feel like who you are isn’t enough.

You are enough.

I hope you’ll join me this year as I do things like learn to play the piano and write songs and paint some really bad flowers. Maybe throw some clay. Who knows?  I hope you’ll enjoy the stories I tell, some will be happy. Some sad. But they will all be my truth. And I’m going to work hard to stop censoring my weird side to make other people comfortable. Take me as I am.

Because I am enough.

Sparkle on, Bitches! This is 50…

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