Some times the dust lifts and you have a moment of clarity …

My birthday was on the 9 May.

It was the rather large thirty-nine, which fills me with all sorts of dread.

Partly because it is alarmingly close to forty, and I think mentally I am still a twelve-year-old girl under all the wrinkles, cellulite and blemishes.

With that in mind, I decided to “write myself a letter” – from me the thirty-nine year old to me the twenty-nine year old. 

You know the kind where you  impart all sorts of wisdom and nuggets of truth, and then you sit back and tell yourself how clever you were for doing that sort of letter, and then go pour yourself another glass of wine and fill your script for Valium, that sort of thing.

So that was the plan.

The problem with “my plan” is the last few weeks have been rather “mind expanding” for me. 

I do not mean in a drug-induced way, I mean in the way where you start to “see things” and you have so many “ah hah” moments that you can actually feel the pressure that your brain exerts on the inside of your skull as it expands and starts to change.

I have had several over the last few weeks, and some that have rocked me to my core.

At the moment, I am quite unsettled and feeling nervous and anxious.  All those not so good feeling things, as one feels when one is on the cusp of a change of epic proportion.  (I could also just be on the verge of having a full-scale nervous breakdown, the symptoms are rather similar.)

I am sure I am not going to magically change into a size 8 underwear model before your eyes, but I definitely feel a shift at my core.

Back to my letter to myself, ten years ago.

I started writing the letter, but could not get through it as I kept crying and that was in the opening paragraph. 

Not small attractive little tears that artistically roll down your cheek as the light catches and glints off them.  Rather large crocodile crying jags, where the snot makes bubbles as it comes out your nose and rests on your top lip.

Which is all the more alarming when you do it at work, and you sit in an open plan office area….but moving along

It is not that I look back on the last ten years of my life and that I am sad because it was all so worthless.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I am sad for me that I was so damn sad for so much of it.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I am sad because I was (and am to a large degree) such a little girl lost, desperate for affection and affirmation but for the most part unable to accept it when it was offered.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I am sad that I nearly threw it all away because I was so sad and so cross for the wrong reasons.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I think about all the energy I have wasted being angry at my “lot in life” and all the hours I chewed up wondering “why me” when it does not matter ‘why’ it just matters ‘what now.”

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I think of all the wasted opportunities when I could have loved better, laughed more, and lived more instead of missing out on so much because I was too distracted to live in the moment.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I think that there are so many times where I wanted to walk away from everyone and everything, because it was all so damn hard. I am sad because it actually wasn’t and isn’t that hard.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I am sad, that I have been so very sad and so very angry for so much of it.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I see how good life has been to me, and I was so angry and such a hurt little girl, that I often could and did not see how much good there is and was around me.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I realize how selfish I have been.  On this exhaustive quest to find me, I have often risked those around me who are so dear to me and who have stood by me through my chaos and through my (epic) rants.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and see that I was so quick to judge and hold grudges for things that others were so quick to forgive me for, when I committed the same transgression.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I wonder how I got here in one piece.

I look back on my life in the last ten years and I realise that I need to, desperately need to, just exhale, release all the shitty shit that I drag around me – just open my hand and let it go.  It has done me no good clinging to all of this, and holding on to it so tightly.

I look forward on my life in the next ten years and I realise that there is a chance that the next ten years will be different.

I look forward on my life in the next ten years and I want to be more present.

I look forward on my life in the next ten years and I want to be more available.

I look forward on my life in the next ten years and I want to be more in touch with what is going on around me.

I can’t promise I am going to be nicer. I can’t promise I am going to be more patient. I can’t promise I will swear less. I definitely cannot promise I am going to drink less wine.

But I can promise that there is a shift within me at the moment. I am not sure anyone will see the difference when they look at me – but it is there if you look carefully.

So happy birthday me.  Thirty-nine is not as bad as you thought, and see, the world did not actually come to an end.

You are wiser, maybe a little bit saner, have so many fabulous friends who appear to love you, even though you can be a total twat on so many occasions. 

You have children you adore and even like – and an Egg who is good to you, and good for you on so many levels.  

You also have a credit card (granted it is a little low on the credit aspect) and some Aldo shoes you have been coveting out for some time.  So get up, take a shower, brush your teeth, and go and buy the damn shoes already.

Happy Birthday Reluctant Mom!

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24 Comments

  1. Claire

     /  May 11, 2011

    What a beautiful, poignant, life affirming post – thanks RM and may the next 10 years be the bestest

    Reply
  2. Running fast backwards

     /  May 11, 2011

    Hi RM. I don’t blog, I am rather behind with all this new blogging, tweeting and you tubing stuff.
    Any hoo..one day well sitting at my desk, bored out of my skull and completely unable to go on..I stumbed across blogs. It seems that I am addicted to reading other peoples blogs! Almost like my Big Brother addiction I had (when it first came out) how I adore to read and watch others lives, I find it fascinating. What I must comment on though is a common theme that I have noticed with all the bloggers that I have read and that is an underlying sadness. Why is it, that we are all so sad? I too am sad, but not in a lie down and cry my eyeballs out sad…just a sadness that I carry along with me that others seldom get to see. So I was wondering, why is it that you think we are all so sad?

    Reply
  3. lee

     /  May 11, 2011

    Happy Birthday Celeste-thanks for the honest post. I am also turning 39 in a couple of weeks and I was able to identify so with a lot of your “stuff”. It reminded me of a line in “Crash” where the Sandra Bullock admits that she is so tired of waking up angry every day. Especially when the anger has no real place-the flipside of depression as they say.
    Make your next year be fantastic!
    xoxo

    Reply
  4. Happy Birthday Celeste! 🙂

    Remember that you are and will be awesome and inspirational to me!

    Reply
  5. LadyWinthorpe

     /  May 10, 2011

    Happy Birthday RM …you certainly have opened my eyes so that i do not cry bucket loads at you age 14 years from now. I have learnt so much from this post i shall carry your words with me and remember to make my 20s as much filled with happy feelings and memories as possible. Thank you for the heads up.

    Reply
  6. I am about your age ten years ago.. and I just almost threw it all away (in a massive way).
    Reading this post confirmed so much for me. Every word.
    This part:

    I look back on my life in the last ten years and I am sad, that I have been so very sad and so very angry for so much of it.
    I see how good life has been to me, and I was so angry and such a hurt little girl, that I often could and did not see how much good there is and was around me.
    I realize how selfish I have been. On this exhaustive quest to find me, I have often risked those around me who are so dear to me and who have stood by me through my chaos and through my (epic) rants

    Man. Amen, etc … all that. This is a really really special post. Thanks for feeling it x

    Reply
  7. Gogga

     /  May 10, 2011

    I hope you had a fab birthday and thank you for sharing with us.
    Your honesty have made a huge impact and perhaps the letter needs to be written for you to read in 10 years time about your now. like a time capsule for the future.

    Reply
  8. Jacqui

     /  May 10, 2011

    Happy Birthday RM!

    You have just given me the answers I needed in my own life right now!

    Reply
  9. Great post! I can see the next 10 years/more is going to be excellent!

    Reply
  10. Happy Birthday Celeste! You know turning 39 was quite hard on me too. In contrast turning 40 was a blast – somehow I felt relieved, free from issues, cared the least what others thought. The 40s has been great to me. Hope the last year of the 30s appeal to you and onwards to the naughty 40s.

    Reply
  11. John B

     /  May 10, 2011

    so I wished you happy birthday via sms, e-mail and now blogging. do I get extra noddy points?

    Happy Birthday, great blog entry, but more importantly – sounds like a great perspective.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  May 10, 2011

      You totally get noddy points!! Thanks for all the good wishes – it has been an overwhelming day, in an overwhelming month in an overwhelming year …. and for all the good reasons.

      Reply
  12. Celeste, I love this ‘transition’ you are going through. I love to read it and learn from it and take those truths to ponder on.
    I can’t wait to hear more. I am also going through a change but you can’t yet see it. But I so get what you are saying. Something inside is shifting, changing around, trying to burst through the surface to make more sense. Again happy birthday!

    Kirsten, what an apt observation. 🙂

    Sharon, I can’t comment on your blog at all? (Sorry RM, don’t want to hog your comments.)

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  May 10, 2011

      Thanks Jana, the trick for me is to ride the “wave of change” and not get off it because I am afraid (and I am) – and not to abandon it and kick it under the bed, and let it gather dust.

      It is all very scarey, and terrifying!!! xx Glad you are with me on the change …. (I sound like a religious zealot, sorry about that)

      Reply
  13. Tania

     /  May 10, 2011

    Happy 39th Birthday for yesterday !! And thanks for the great post, putting down in words on “paper” what I tell myself so many times too.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  May 10, 2011

      It is funny how when we hold our thoughts and fears inside we think we are the only ones who are experiencing them and it makes us more fearful and more confused.

      And when we say our greatest fears out loud, we realise that they are not as scarey as when they were locked inside us.

      I am glad the post touched you where you were hiding your stuff.

      xx

      Reply
  14. Sharon

     /  May 10, 2011

    What a great post! I really needed this today. I’m not in a good place and struggling along, feeling really depressed & thinking about perhaps going back on my happy pills. But this post gave me some clarity too so thank you!
    xxx

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  May 10, 2011

      I am glad it resonated with you, I have been crying all day ….. for no particular reason.

      Reply
  15. You know you were supposed to do this self assessment when you turn 40. So you are now officially ahead of yourself. Pat yourself on the back for being so organised and forward thinking.

    Happy birthday love!!
    XxX

    Reply
  16. Happy Birthday Celeste. I hope you achieve all you set out to achieve in the year ahead…..and the next.

    Sometimes it is good to take stock of our lives, but it can leave us reeling as well.

    I just wish you happiness…a lot lot lot of it!

    Reply
  17. Josie

     /  May 10, 2011

    Happy Birthday!!
    Thank you for your fabulous blog – I look forward to your posts so much and gain so much from them 🙂
    I also have 3 kids whom I love and adore but don’t want to do puzzles on the floor with the entire day – thanks for normalising this for all of us!
    Wishing you a fantastic year!
    May you go from strength to strength
    xxx

    Reply
  1. Running fast backwards …. « The Reluctant Mom's Blog

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