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  • Writer's pictureShawna

Another Year Happier (Birthday Reflections)

I am one of those people who loves my birthday. I look forward to it every year with the same expectancy and joy and a sparkling sense of me-ness that I did as a child. I chalk this up to being my mother's daughter, as she was the absolute queen of making us feel celebrated and loved and special beyond special on our birthdays. This has stayed with me every single year of my life; regardless of age or circumstances, or what might have befallen me in the year past, I have always, always cherished another birthday.

What I'd like to be able to continue to say with each passing year, when my date of entry into this world arrives each mid-June like a familiar star in my sky, is that I am another year happier. Older, sure -- but that means nothing to me, really, except how I can track the days and years by the love I've given and the lessons I've learned; the relationships I've built and maintained and the adventures I've had; the faith I've cultivated and the laughter I've held on to like a cherished friend.

This past year, I can undoubtedly say that I felt like the best version of myself; that this was one of those years when I was utterly conscious and aware of living in the fullness of the Very Best Days of My Life while they were happening (what a tremendous experience that is), and felt myself open to the world and everything it could unfold before my expectant eyes.

I learned, among other things, these valuable lessons about my journey onward into this crazy wonderful chaotic fantastic thing called My Life:

✨You grow at the rate you push and allow yourself to grow. You take a breath and count your blessings; you focus your priorities on what is good and true and real, like faith + hope + adventure + love, and deepening relationships that feed your soul.

✨You finally understand the significance of investing in yourself in purposeful, intentional ways that renew and replenish you. You do the work to heal through the mistakes of your green youth and see how everything is connected, the girl you were and the girl you will be and the girl you are in the here and now, the one who finally feels ready to own the responsibility for being the narrator of her own life story.

✨You realize that life is really just one long succession of tries, and that you will never be a failure so long as you continue to believe there’s always another “try” to be had.

✨Above all, you accept yourself - the truest, messiest, most in-progress version of yourself - and you know that she is exactly who and where she’s meant to be at this moment in her life.

✨And you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you wouldn’t want it any other way. 

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