Birthday Blues and My 2016 Notes to Self
My 27th Birthday Eve is upon me and I am battling my usual case of the Birthday Blues. Like New Years, I find Birthdays overwhelming – high expectations and the pressure of a fresh start kind of bum me out. I’m a perfectionist overachiever with a predisposition towards anxious thoughts and upward comparisons. Needless to say, the whole milestone thing usually just stresses me out and leaves me focused on what I haven’t achieved and what I don’t have. With age, I find myself becoming (marginally) less neurotic and I’ve been learning to flip that thinking just a little bit.
Last New Years, I was feeling something similar to the Birthday blues. I was single, and almost all of my girlfriends were spending the holiday with their significant others (So were most of my exes. Yay!). I had planned to drink wine, listen to Adele, take a bath, an ativan and, hopefully, be blissfully unconscious by the time midnight rolled around. Dark. I know.
Don’t worry, my neighbours decided to throw a (loud) bash so one of my girls managed to drag me out to a party where I made the most of the night. When I woke up, I decided to skip out on the New Years Resolutions and write some reminders to myself that have a lot less to do with achieving more and a lot more to do with being kind to myself and also chilling the fuck out.
This year, for my Birthday I’m heading up North to Algonquin Park to be with my family and disconnect by the water for a few days. As my own personal New Year starts, I’ll be reflecting on my ‘2016 Notes To Self’. I was hesitant to post these in this forum, as they're pretty deeply personal and this will mark the first time I am publishing words I wrote with the expectation that no one would ever see them. Ultimately, I decided to share them with you all because I think we could all probably use a reminder to be kind to ourselves. I hope you read something that helps you do just that …
1. Don’t stay stagnant. You’re happiest when you can do your own thing. Start your blog, write your story … people will want to read it, don’t be scared. Work towards your own business and don't lose sight.
2. Take your art class, don’t be afraid of judgment, don’t be afraid of not being good enough. Learn, create, enjoy.
3. Don’t stop writing – make time for you journal, write your blog. It makes you feel full and healthy. It helps you sort through your feelings. It’s when your voice is strongest. Write honestly and write for yourself.
4. Social media and exes …. Please stop it. It’s not real. She’s probably not that pretty, he’s probably not that happy. It’s ok to feel hurt but don’t let it make you feel less than. You have never settled. Don’t start now. If they were up to the task, they would still be here.
5. On that note. Don’t settle in any area of your life, you shouldn’t have to.
6. Your girlfriends, they are everything. Keep them close. Family. Ditto.
7. Be as kind to yourself as you are to everyone else. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friends.
8. Trust the timing of your life. Don’t compare it to anyone else’s (see #4).
9. Run/Walk/Swim/Do Yoga. It’s better than taking an ativan or having a drink.
10. Drink more green smoothies, you never get sick when you do.
11. Music. Make time to sit and listen.
12. There is nothing wrong with the way you pick the men you date. You mattered to them, they mattered to you and the fact that it didn’t last forever doesn’t take away any of that. Don’t feel like you need to date “nicer” guys you aren’t that attracted to. You always know when you’ve met a man who sets off sparks, you’ve never been wrong so don’t force anything, trust your heart.
13. Underground is amazing but, for the love of god, find some new bars and meet some new people.
14. You’re valuable to your employers, to your friends, to your customers … don’t take too much shit. When you have to, let it go quickly, it’s not a reflection of you.
15. Therapy is hard. Don’t stop going.
16. New Zealand was a 2015 highlight. Remember how much you love nature. Travel somewhere new this year where you can hike, swim and get sun. Also, watch more sunrises and sunsets this year. They help give you perspective.
17. Your dog is the one creature on this planet who can make you feel better no matter what. If things get especially dark this year, get on the subway, go home and cuddle with him.
18. Keep picturing your dream man. He’s on his way and he’s a babe. He’s a little late, it’s ok, he’ll make it up to you. It’s fine to feel sad and lonely sometimes while you wait but keep the faith.
19. In the meantime, have as much or as little sex as you want. Don’t count the number of partners you have been with. Who cares? Don’t judge yourself and don’t let anyone else judge you. Be safe and never turn off the emotional connection you have to physical intimacy.
20. Trust a little more ... in the process, in others, in yourself.
Every sunrise is a fresh start ...
I hope you feel inspired to start today with a little love for yourself. xo