By: Alexis Jones
I’ve gotten in this ritual on my birthday, of taking the time to write myself a love letter, to reflect over the highs and lows of the past year. This 30th year marks a milestone so I thought I’d candidly share my very personal, birthday love letter in the hopes of inspiring you to take the time to do the same (birthday or no birthday).
Wow. Sure came fast didn’t it? Thirty years old. Now it’s instinct to have those words feel foreign, for a silent panic button to be pressed and a barrage of “could have, should have, might have’s” to come spilling out, but don’t. People will convince you that this number is significant, that there are things on your checklist that are not yet crossed off. My only request is that you acknowledge the expectations, the pressures and obligations to uphold somebody else’s stereotype of what thirty looks like and feels like; then shake it off and decide for yourself how you will enter this decade of your life.
Because if it were up to me, THIS is how you would welcome it: With hot pink balloons and sparkly shoes, with an unwavering confidence and a pride that shimmies right alongside the softly printed crow’s feet that are proof of late night laugh attacks and smiling at strangers. I would welcome thirty with the grace she deserves, the reverence she has earned and the humility she echoes.
Your father’s cancer, falling in love, moments of unparalleled brilliance simultaneously shmooshed together with epic fails, interwoven with insecurities, doubts, and fears. You overcame so much. You are stronger, wiser, and more willing to relinquish the control you never really had in the first place. May I say sweet girl, I am so proud of you.
It’s easy to stay distracted and not take these moments to really sit back and reminisce on where you’ve been, to take inventory and be still long enough to envision the life you want, to make decisions about who you are and who you want to be. Three things I want you to remember: You are enough, you have enough, you do enough. Just breath and remember this life is not about crystallizing youth, accomplishing an invisible checklist of impressive accolades, or maintaining a bikini body. This life is about identifying your gifts, learning to better love yourself so you are equipped to love others, and having the courage to be vulnerable and honest.
I’m proud of who you choose to be every day, and my only request in this new decade is to choose faith over fear. So many things scare you and it’s easy to hide behind them and excuse bravery out the back door, but may you have the audacity in the midst of your fear to die to your ego and jump in head first. Author your life my dear and inject it with all of the adventures you can imagine. Then just keep writing. What a life awaits all of us who dare to dream.