I've been dreading my Birthday this year for as long as I can remember. My heart constricts and I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. As I was lying in bed last night however I realized something. I like who I am as I'm going into my 30's. For the first time, I'm ok with me.
My 20's were confusing. I grew up too fast - had my first baby at 19, my second at 23 and got married somewhere in between. My friends were out partying, traveling, finishing school and I thought that that was what I was supposed to be doing too. I finished school, left the country for a vacation - with husband and baby in tow - for the first time and hit up a few clubs along the way as well. I made memories, new friends and ok-ish money.
My friends and I would swap stories ("Remember that time that we got so drunk?"), make more plans to do it again, share pictures of our travels but all the while, it didn't feel right to me.
As I got later into my 20's, we got a little bit classier. Drinking wine and hanging out at Starbucks like the typical white girl was chosen most of the time over clubbing and all-nighters. I'd swallow that red like it was the most delicious thing I'd ever tasted, trying to conceal the grimace I was internally making. I'd order coffee, hot and bitter, drown it in milk and sugar until I could deal with the taste because at this age, I was 'supposed' to like wine and coffee. I went along with my religion. I went to church and would ask for forgiveness when I swore or thought something impure about another human being. I hung the crosses and rosary beads around the house to show everyone that yes, I was a Christian - all the while questioning everything I read about 'God' and the bible, but never voicing my opinions out loud.
I sent my daughter to school because ALL teachers are nice, friendly, loving. I believed those teachers when they told me that "something wasn't right" with her. They tossed around words like A.D.D and autism and so, with a heavy heart, I dragged her from specialist to specialist, trying to get a diagnosis because hey, the teachers had to be right, right? When the doctors looked at me like a crazy person and shook their heads saying, "Your daughter is fine. She's 100% normal", it clicked.
She was normal. Quirky as hell but normal. And I loved her for it. She was and is unapologetically herself. At 10 years old she knows who she is and what she believes and doesn't care about what everyone tells her she is supposed to be.
That was when it started for me.
I thought about all the years I've spent trying to conform. To be what I was 'supposed' to be and I hated it! How many years have I spent trying to lose weight so that I'd look the was I was 'supposed' to? Praying to a God who believes that I'm a sinner simply for having my period and that anyone or thing that comes into contact with me during that time is unclean? Swallowing red wine despite the fact that the mere smell of it makes me nauseous. Even worse was allowing other people to label my child - the one who loves to learn about politics, hasn't scored below 'above average' on a report card since she's started school and sits down with a group of adults and talks to them about current world events, making them feel less than 'normal' - as 'special needs'.
With a week left in my 20's, I am more me than I have been in my entire life. I'm not going to go to a club because my friends are. I HATE clubs! I always have! I'm fat, and fine with it. I do believe in God - absolutely, just not the one that everyone says I'm supposed to believe in. My God wants me to be happy. To live my life the way I want to so long as I'm doing it in a safe manner, and making the world a little better in the process.
Some days I'm a writer. Some days an artist, a mom, a wife, a woman, sister, daughter, napper (Yes, a napper).
I'm not one thing. I don't fit into one mould and I have no intention of ever doing so. And most importantly, as I turn 30, I realize I'm ok with that.
here to check it out. :)