As I approach my 32nd birthday in a few short days, I have been reflecting A LOT about the past year, why this birthday feels different than most and what changes I’d like to see in my own life, moving forward another year in life.
You may be asking yourself, what is such a BIG deal about 32?? Well, it has always been a benchmark year for me because my Aunt, who was more like an older sister to me, passed away just shy of her 32nd birthday from cancer. Her birthday is also in July like mine, which contributes to the heaviness of this particular birthday.
It’s saddens me think that I have now been alive longer than my aunt and to think that 32 years was all the time she was given here on earth. My mind can’t help but wander into the space of my own demise at this tender age, leaving my boys behind and what footprints I’ve left in the hearts of others?
Reflecting on all of this makes me also question the way I’m living NOW, in the present moment and what I want out of this glorious physical experience while I’m still here!
Over the past year I have felt a huge shift within me, a welcomed and positive shift, one that happens over time (certainly not over night) after many hard fought battles, tough life lessons and experiences.
One of the biggest changes in the way I’m living today versus a year ago is being unapologetically me!
To me this means, living a life that is more fulfilling, by being comfortable in my own skin, making more conscious choices in my life that resonate with my core values and beliefs and that just down right feel good! Learning to love myself for who I am, caring more about what the person in the reflection in the mirror thinks and less of what others do.
This is a monumental shift from the girl who cared what everyone thought of her, wanting to be accepted and loved by everyone – to not caring so much about what others think, in fact, not at all!
Do you know how freeing this is??!!
Learning to love myself and to not feel guilty about it, was a long, tough journey that required healing from the inside out. Self-love is not selfish, it’s the complete opposite, and it is as vital as the air we breathe. This was not an easy concept for me to grasp, especially being a people pleaser, but it was absolutely necessary to learn.
Recognizing that there is beauty in my flaws and loving the scarred person I am, has not come naturally. It has come through many hard days and finally coming to the realization that the scars I carry mean I have lived and each one tells a story. Stories that I should not be ashamed of, but proud of and able to bravely share!
Overtime I have also learned my value and what I am willing to accept from others. I am now in a space where I no longer have the time to waste on relationships that aren’t meaningful. I want to be around people who appreciate my presence as much as I appreciate theirs, that are inspiring and uplifting!
I am no longer sorry for living a life that most do not understand. There are always going to be people that don’t understand my path and that’s totally ok. People will judge my journey, not knowing what it took to get here. I don’t need to justify my life to anyone but the man above who is guiding me down this path and to myself.
After surviving a life threatening pregnancy complication, HELLP Syndrome, I was almost instantaneously catapulted on this path of gratitude and positivity. Fast-forward to a few years down the road where I was in a car accident and again my outlook on life cannot help but be reinforced by another life-changing event. Filling me with even more gratitude to be here today, knowing how different the outcome could have been.
My aunt truly lived the way she wanted and made no apologies for the choices she made in her life. She has always inspired me to live a more abundant life, filled with pure love and genuine laughter. I can hear her laugh as I type this. Gosh, I miss her! She had the most beautiful spirit and she lit up every room she entered.
One way I want to honour my Aunt’s life is to live mine more authentically, as she would want me to, and inspire others to do the same! This is how a life lived becomes a legacy.
Now please excuse me while I go live my life to the fullest, making no excuses for doing so and enjoying each day while being unapologetically me!
Who’s ready to do the same?!