33 & Free
Happy birthday to me!
Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I LOVE birthdays. I've always loved them and loved making them super special. Celebrating life is super important to me. I'm not sure if it's because I work with sick kids or if because growing up my mom always made our birthdays special but regardless I love it!
I have to be honest and say that earlier this year I was dreading thirty-three a little bit. I've noticed a few more wrinkles and grey hairs and have had some hormone issues off and on, which I'm chalking up to starting night shifts again. That being said I I have the love of my life by my side, I'm in the best shape of my life, my skin has never been better and I truly feel like I'm twenty-five.
Why should I dread mid-thirties getting closer then? No reason!
Thankfully, as I've experienced so many shifts recently I've felt all the worry and dread about a million things I can't control slowly dissipate, and the aging process is one of them.
One of my favorite quotes is related to thinking about if the things you were so stressed out about were taken away.
What if you didn't have that job that was stressful and didn't know when you were getting a pay check (now that's stressful!)?
What if you had a terminal illness and didn't know if you would make it until your next birthday?
What if you didn't have a relationship at all so you didn't have to work through any issues or have hard conversations?
What if you didn't have a family that occasionally drove you nuts and were alone?
Perspective is everything and mine has changed so much recently. The only way I really know how to describe it is like a blanket of calm that I settled into. A deep peace in my soul that I'm right where I need to be.
Ultimately I found freedom and contentment in the day to day. Freedom to smile more, laugh when the hospital is a zoo, laugh when our basement leaks and laugh at a few more grey hairs (nothing that my girl Nina can't fix!).
It took me thirty-three years to find this freedom in everyday life. For as long as I can remember I have been chasing so many dreams and goals, which isn't a bad thing, but at times it's taken away from just BEing. Being free to laugh, love freely, dance in my kitchen, sleep an extra hour, stay up an hour later or do whatever the hell I want, whether it's work or play.
The second I decided I was free, I was. It was instant. It has been in me all along, just calling out waiting for me to grasp it.
I was always just too busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off to listen.
If there's anything I've learned over the last couple of years it's that you can never stop learning and growing and evolving. The number one thing I'm grateful for is that I never give up on myself. I'm not perfect in any sense of the word but I'm ok with that, I love being perfectly imperfect, embracing the journey and each day trying to be better than the last.
My newfound freedom has me getting better with age, living each day to the fullest and embracing my inner Wildcat on the regular. It's a beautiful thing.
Cheers to new beginnings and being free.
Photography by Aubrey Grace Photography