As I close in on 41 here in the next few days, I realize how misplaced my focus has been over my last few birthdays. My energies depleted through unhealthy thought cycles and attachments that I could not break from. And how tired I truly was. I did get out to the woods for a few days last year for me, which I enjoyed. Such is my plan this year as well so long as the weather holds out. I’m looking forward to packing my bookbag with some new mindfulness practices that I’ve been dying to wade through and, out in the sunshine would be more than beautiful. Alongside a recently rekindled love for Tai Chi from my old Chicago days. Trusty FitBit…always that.
In gravitating back towards my long forgotten mental health strongholds, along with the physical repair and strengthening, I have felt a purity in myself return that I have not felt in ages. To feel clean of shame or embarrasment. To feel clean of pain or regret. To feel my blood run clean. It is invaluable. It is the peace of allowing my spirit to free itself of the damage it has been holding on to. That of myself and others.
Where I didn’t too much celebrate it after I had kids, I am going to spend this birthday wisely, in reflection and in gratitude for growth. In celebration of commitment to my children and the work I love. I know why I remain here and my purpose will not be squandered another time. I do not need another second chance. For anything.
Pain does not happen overnight. It builds as it attaches to your vulnerabilities. As they weaken. Over time. The pain builds and seems to draw to itself more of the same. An unending cycle. Until you realize you’ve carried it all a ways. And that you’ve done it for years. It does not happen overnight. And your healing will not take place overnight. Or even a weekend. It is just as much a process as you regain strength in those injured vulnerabilities. Reinforce the positives. Steel yourself in your own humility. Soothe your soul right where it is beginning again. And rebuild. This is an honest labor of love. And not one wasted.
As I walk this weekend, in my backpack will be two notebooks. One new and untouched. Ready for all it will hold one day. One well traveled. Battered, worn and extremely close to my heart. It needs to be let go of. In a place that I love. I’ve carried it all a ways. And I’ve done it for years.