Today is my birthday. I'm Turing 37. It's not a monumental birthday for most people, but it is for me. Today I am owning up to something I have been thinking about for a LONG time and deciding not to live my life by the numbers anymore. So, I am 37. What the hell does that even mean? Am I supposed to feel old? Am I supposed to feel fulfilled and contented to be 'middle aged?' I don't feel that way at all. In fact I feel like my age is reversing! It's taken me 37 years to self actualize on some serious shit and today I feel like sharing it with all of you.
I am happier than I was when I was 27. That was the year I got married. A horrible decision to try to hold on to an idea of what I thought a twenty-something was 'supposed to do.' Take it from me. Don't let age dictate your actions. Trust your gut. One divorce later and I can say I am much more appreciative of myself and who I am. Now, that I really think about it 17 wasn't even that "happy." Who is happy in high school? It's awful. I was awkward, and nerdy, and didn't fit in anywhere. I was so ready to leave my small town to get away from all of the things I thought were holding me back and weighing me down that I just rushed through those teenage years. I so desperately just wanted to be an adult. Now that I am an 'actual adult' things haven't really changed...mentally still feel 17! Dance in my underwear to TLC and think back on days when I was thinner, less wrinkled, unsure, unaware of my own power and I thank the universe I have had so many years to discover that all of that wonderful inside of me has always been there. Always.
I am single...as in "table for one please" and "one-ticket-to-the-latest-horrible- rom-com-'cause-I-don't-have-anyone-to-worry-about-complaining-through-the-whole-movie" single. Sounds nice, right? Yeah. It's ok for a while, but its been 4 years and I am still alone and I am starting to think I may be stuck like this, but I have to keep reminding myself that it took 10 years in miserable relationships to get to the point where I began to put myself first. No rush. Putting my own needs at the top of the priority list is what's most important these days.
So here I am, looking in the mirror and this is what I see:
I am 37, a size 16, run 5 miles 4 days a week, gave birth to 1 kid 4 years ago after 22 hours of labor. Now I am a single mom with some extra weight on her frame but can bench 115 pounds. I have spent 20 years hiding in a 1 piece bathing suit and eating 1200 calories a day, less than 20 grams of carbs a day, to try to fit into a image that just isn't attainable because as much as I try I can barely get that number on the scale below 190. I'm over it. I am ready to be free of the numbers. I feel young, I feel healthy, I feel motivated, and I feel grateful. Some places on my body may jiggle when I walk or dance and I may have a wrinkle or two when I smile, but I am finally smiling. I may eat a carb or have an actual meal and not feel guilty. I may have fewer friends but the ones I have are quality individuals who have helped carry me through 17 years of strife and struggle. And I may be flying solo on date nights, but I am worthy. Worthy of happiness, of love, of kindness, of compliments, and of feeling as beautiful inside and out than anyone else. For the first time in my life I can put on a 2 piece bathing suit, lift my hands to the sky and say "This is me! I am 37 and giving ZERO Fucks!"