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Turning The Page

Birthdays are a funny thing. Like it or not, they always make you reflect on the past year of accomplishments, mistakes, and unfulfilled dreams. I've always loved new ones coming around, but at the same time, they always make me feel a bit deflated. This one was a little different, but the same.

This year, on December 15th, 2022, at 1:30 pm, I said goodbye to 48 and flowed into my 49th year on earth. This one was special for an abundance of reasons. In year 48, I made it through cancer and 2 operation recoveries, another cancer scare, and my first flu in 9 years. But I also became a published author, having my story published in two Canadian magazines this year, and was a special guest on a medical webinar for women's health. All in all, I flourished in 2022.

Year 48 taught me so much, and I feel like I really came into my element. I somehow became more body-positive and let go of all those darn diet regimes that had kept me a prisoner for most of my adult life. My mental health took center stage this year, and I found my worth and happiness where I always should have looked for them—within myself. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I belonged in this world and had a purpose. Now, this is not to say that I didn't have my down moments, because I absolutely did. But when I did, I realized that the conversations I had with myself had changed. They had become less toxic and genuinely filled with more self-love. No matter what happened this year, I always came back to the same realization: I was alive. That trumped everything!

Now I am 49. My final year of being a forty-something woman. As always, I have many things I wish to accomplish this year. A possible completed manuscript of my first book (or two, depending on how adventurous I feel), hitting some new health goals, staying cancer-free, of course, bringing my business to new heights, making more connections, planning a few vacations, and spending a lot of time with my family. Most importantly, I am evolving myself spiritually to a new level of mental wellness and self-love. I'm finally ready to take myself on new adventures and not be so worried about where they might lead me. I'm open to the process. For the very first time, I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my life, and I am fully committed to and ready for all the exciting things that await me.

Those of you who have been following my story and reading along will be surprised to learn that I am once again open to loving. But with that said, I am in absolutely no rush. To be honest, I am quite content and fully happy being single and living my life alone. Bet you never thought I'd say that now, huh? I know, it's taken a very long time to get to this place, but I have definitely arrived. And as they say, it's better late than never! When love returns, it will be different because I have finally reached a point in my life where I am no longer looking for happiness in another person. I am no longer looking for another person to complete or validate me. I am no longer in need of being rescued, and I am no longer broken. That craving for genuine love, God and I have fulfilled on our own, so I'm good.

So anyone coming into my life now will be greeted with genuine happiness, clarity, and openness. They will finally meet a whole person who has grown and triumphed from a difficult past but who now acknowledges that it was all necessary so that I could stand and meet them in this place—one of peace and utter excitement to see what's next.

It feels ironic, being 49 now and feeling almost like a child again. God, I cannot remember the last time I was this happy and felt this free. The last time I felt like this, I was 18. That's why it's so funny. Then I was 18 going on 30. Now I'm 49 and feel like I'm 20.

It is also scary to think that this time next year (God willing), I will be entering a new phase of my life—turning 50. Growing older requires much forgiveness, kindness, and grace for yourself. It not only means you're getting older, but everyone around you is as well, which causes me a lot of anxiety. But I have been working on how to arm myself differently and bracing myself to have the strength and faith to work through and experience what is to come. I cannot change the circle of life—not for me, not for those I love, not for anyone. I've realized that all I can do is live in each moment, making as many wonderful memories as I can.

I used to be so afraid of making memories with people. I was always so afraid of getting close to anyone, so I always kept them at arm's length. I learned to do this very early on because I experienced a lot of loss in my life at a very young age. Never invest in people because they always leave you, something my beloved grandmother used to say when she was alive. But as I say this to all of you here today, I whisper it to her in heaven as well: It's ok to let people in. It's okay to make memories. I know now that the love we have for one another and the room we make for each other in our lives—we take it with us when we go, so it's ok.

Happy birthday to me! May 49 be the most wonderful year yet!



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