37

As I sit here at the end of my birthday today, I can only smile at the life that I have been given.

There are certain moments of the year where I get reflective and take a moment to be thankful of what I have been given and my current place in life. Things have never been completely easy, and this last year was certainly not a walk in the park. However, my birthday has always been one of those times each year where I can pause and soak in my blessings, see how I have grown, and be thankful for those surrounding me.

This past year was a true testament of how investing in my own growth matters. It was the first year that I can honestly remember ever that my anxiety was not crippling. There were many trials this year that would have sent a younger me in a spiral. Now, has the constant overthinking stopped? Not at all. However, I have become more confident in who I am and learned strategies to knock away the self doubt.

I don’t have to be perfect. In fact, I am far from it. This year I am finally coming to terms with this. God uses broken leaders. There has been peace in finally accepting that I don’t have to be perfect all the time, and being broken doesn’t mean that I can’t still move forward. It only took me three decades to get here, but we all run our own race. (Hebrews 12:1 is one of my favorite verses.)

I talked about the start of my counseling journey last year after giving birth to Wally, and honestly that was a game changer for me. I have learned so much about how to truly accept myself and starting to understand I am not responsible for other people’s opinions. This is still a hard journey, but at 37 I am finally letting some of the things go instead of replaying old conversations that happened yesterday or even 20 years ago. It’s nice to look back at the post, and realize that the work that I have been putting in has been paying off.

I may not be the strongest, but I am stronger.

I may not be the wisest, but I am wiser.

I may not be the healthiest, but I am healthier.

I may not be the best, but I am happy with who I am.

There is not a quick fix in this life, and I am by no means perfect, but I am finally enjoying the journey. Intention has been my focus. I have learned this last year to control my thoughts more deliberately or to reconstruct them when my anxiety does settle in. I have learned to engage in projects with my whole self and know that I am there for a reason even if I don’t understand the why. I have learned how to be better than I was the day before, and even if I wasn’t there is humility and peace in trying again in the next moment. I have learned how to believe in myself.

In the end, I have my family and a purpose in life greater than I could have ever imagined. If my kids were to look back on this moment, I want them to be proud of who I am, and I finally feel at ease with that thought.

So here is to another year around the sun as broken as ever, but more free than ever before.

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