Saturday, January 29, 2011

29 years, 29 reasons I am awesome

Last year I turned 28 on January 28th, which was considered my “golden birthday.” And it was. I spent the day at the fanciest hotel spa in town getting some kind of Ayurvedic balancing treatment and a facial and sipping a lemon drop in the lounge feeling so good… just peaceful and almost worry-free.

What I wouldn’t give to feel that way now, as I turn 29. Last year at this time I was so certain I was in the right place, on the right path, and everything was working itself out. This year, everything is a complete disaster and the only thing I know for sure is that I will never be so certain that I have everything figured out again, because I don’t. You never really do.

Time passes, you change, other people change, and you form different opinions, goals and desires. Things you wanted five years ago seem foreign to you now. At this time next year I’ll have a completely different life. I’m excited for the changes, but I’m also glad to know that if I end up hating the new life I’m creating for myself,  I’ll have the strength and the drive to pack up and create a new one. I can’t see that happening, but I also once said I could never see myself leaving North Idaho, either. Now I can’t imagine having one more birthday here.

Don’t get me wrong, yesterday was incredible. Two of my friends took me to breakfast where I had the self-indulgent and utterly delicious french toast stuffed with Nutella and bananas. My massage therapist friend brought his table to my house and gave me a free 90 minute massage which was the nicest thing he possibly could’ve done since I can’t afford to buy one right now.

Afterward, I promptly drew a bubble bath, poured myself a glass of wine, put a tiara on my head and a mud mask on my face. Later it was off to wine tasting with Mr. W and two of our friends followed by the most incredible dinner at our favorite Italian place. There were so many laughs and so many smiles as I checked my Facebook wall and saw the sweet messages. I may be in a weird spot right now but I’m wealthy in all the ways that matter.

Last year I shared the top 28 moments of my life. This year, I was going to write 29 wishes because that’s about how many huge things I want to achieve or have happen to me this year. But I can’t. I’m not ready to share them with the world. They’re personal and if they don’t happen I’d like to deal with them privately.

Instead, I’m going to make a list of 29 things I’ve learned to love about myself. And I encourage anyone who reads this to do the same, except don’t stop at 29… list as many as you can think of. If I’ve learned anything in 29 years it’s that learning to love yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and others. If everyone loved themselves, we wouldn’t feel the need to attack and judge others so harshly and worry about what they do in their private lives because we’d be so busy loving ours. It's taken me a long time, but today, I love me.

The very first thing I did yesterday morning was thank God for allowing me to be around to see another birthday. And when I checked Twitter a few minutes later and noticed this, I was glad I did:

 GenaMaree Got an email from a friend last night saying our dear friend passed away. He was our age -- 30's. Please pray about 3 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®Retweeted by LAidiot

We get so caught up in our daily problems and the small stuff that we forget there’s not much we’re guaranteed in this life. We never know what it will bring or how long we have, and we shouldn’t take anything for granted. I’ve got so much I want to accomplish and so much I want to change that it all seems overwhelming right now. At the same time, I’m grateful to have had 29 wonderful birthdays and for all the incredible moments (and even some of the not so incredible) moments in between. I’m not proud of every choice I’ve made or some of the qualities I have, but every mistake has been a lesson. And I love these 29 things about myself:

1) I am an excellent hostess. If you stay with me or attend a party thrown by me, you will have a good time and your comfort will be my highest priority.

2) I am not a flake. If I say I’ll be there, barring a catastrophic event, I’ll be there even if I don’t feel like it. If I can’t be there, I’ll let you know as soon as possible and my excuse will be real.

3) I take the best care of my husband when he’s sick.

4) I am blessed with the ability to think with my head, not my heart, on certain hot button social issues and the knowledge that just because something isn’t right for me doesn’t mean it’s not right for others.

5) I’m not afraid of public speaking. I went through my teenage years a fat, white, frizzy, pimply, miserable mess. No embarrassing thing that would happen with 500 pairs of eyes on me could be any worse than that. Bring it.

6) I  can write… damn it.

7) I have great curves I have learned to appreciate.

8) I genuinely love a lot of healthy food  just as much as junk. I allow myself plenty of both with little guilt.

9) I am forever a loyal Days of our Lives fan and I don’t give a damn what a single other person in the world thinks about it. 

10) I’ve got Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Elton John, Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Marley, Matchbox Twenty and European trance all smooshed together on my iPod like they all belong together… because in my mind, they do.

11) On that note, I’m not douchey about others’ musical tastes. No, I don’t care for some of the loud screaming rock bands or Avril Lavigne, but if you do, that’s awesome and you rock that stuff.

12) I have a wonderfully twisted sense of humor.

13) I can laugh at myself… and do, often.

14) I am an excellent kisser.

15) I can plan a wicked date night, party and the best vacation you’ll ever have.

16) I am passionate.

17) I am grateful for every little good thing that happens to me. It makes dealing with the bad stuff so much easier.

18) I am a good friend. This is not always true, but it’s true in general, so I’m counting it.

19) My social skills kick ass.

20) I will change my opinion if I’m presented with enough evidence/facts suggesting I’m wrong rather than just stubbornly insisting, “Nuh uh!” until I look like an idiot.

21) When I'm alone I sing in the shower and sometimes I let myself think it sounds really good.

22) I enjoy my own company enough to go to restaurants, movies, art galleries and wine tastings by myself. 

23) I am the best at thinking up the perfect come back to your snide comment or insult… hours after you insult me, but still.

24) I am not easily offended or overly sensitive. I used to be, so I worked to change it and it's something I'm very proud of.

25) I attract the best friends and the most incredible, fabulous people.

26) I don’t give a rat’s ass about football but I’ll pay just enough attention to engage in stupid banter because people I love do.

27) I treat my dog like a member of the family because he is.

28) I genuinely love to make other people feel special and appreciated.

29) I’m getting better at apologizing and forgiving.

Now, I'd better publish this post before I realize that I'm now 364 days from my 30th birthday and have an epic meltdown, forgetting everything I've learned.

What do you love about yourself?


Stevie said...

Happy birthday! I turned 30 in October and felt completely at peace with it. I'm definitely not where I thought I would be at 30, but I am still so incredibly happy and thankful for my life at this moment.

I've been watching Days of our Lives since I was 8 years old :-)

gatordad said...

I love that I have a niece in friggin' Idaho that loves Bob Marley! Man, that makes me feel that there's hope for this world after all. Now I hope she discovers The Beatles, The Neville Brothers, and Jerry Jeff Walker. I KNOW your move is going to work out. After all, we moved 3,000 miles and three time zones. Happy Birthday, kiddo!

Anonymous said...

Why I love that I have great taste in Friends and Adopted daughters :-)

mom said...

This list is awesome! You have every right to love yourself. Afterall if you aren't happy with yourself you can't possible be happy with anyone else.
You never cease to amaze me!
Don't worry so much about life's crazy changes...sometimes God knows better than we do and whatever happens you are still one of the most awesome young ladies I know! Big hugs!
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

That is one awesome list...and I count meeting and connecting with people like you to be one of the things I love about myself. In fact, this post is a great meme - so hope you don't mind if I do copy the concept (even if my birthday isn't for a few months)!! See you over there and glad to hear that you had such a wonderful birthday celebration amidst all the craziness!! :) xo

Laurie Boris said...

Aw, does this mean I'll need to come up with 50 reasons in August?? ;) Seriously, I love this post and I admire your wisdom about life. I'm right with you on #21-23. What do I love most about myself? Writing talent, sense of humor, and a growing ability to not only listen to that little voice of intuition, but to follow it. There. 47 to go. ;) You are AWESOME!

JessicaLee said...

Yes, Laurie, you'll just have to come up with 50 reasons you're wonderful... I can think of one, a published book! ;) Stevie, you top my years as a Days fan- I am very impressed! Thanks for your comments everyone. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey newly, 29 year old! Happy belated birthday, sweetheart :) I loved reading this!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! As I've probably said before, I love the idea of creating an age-inspired list celebrating all the unique, wonderful ways you're you. Personally, I think the older we get, the better life is...aging like a fine wine. ;) Cheesy, but true.

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