I just had a birthday. Coincidentally, I was out of the country on the big day. February is a great time to get away when you live in Ottawa. By this time of the year, I’m just at the point I’m not sure I can stand another day of winter hurting my face.
I’m not from here, you see. They don’t have winter where I’m from (sorry, PNW peeps, but it’s true), so I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I came here. But in fact, the weather had little to do with why we chose to go this year after 4 years without a winter getaway.
This was a milestone birthday for me. A pretty big milestone. The kind that people like to make a big deal out of. And I didn’t want a big deal made of it. So, it was no coincidence that I was out of the country on the big day. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, to be honest, and I just didn’t want to deal with it in public. I wanted a quiet celebration with my husband. In a place where winter couldn’t hurt my face for a few days.
And that was exactly what I got. It was lovely. We relaxed, had some adventures, ate great food, read and relaxed on the beach. I largely managed to escape getting sunburned. And I enjoyed the Facebook, email, and text message birthday wishes from afar.
And it really didn’t bother me too much, this milestone birthday. In fact, I think all the previous milestone birthdays (yes, even my 25th!) made me more uncomfortable. Which I thought was kind of interesting.
Maybe not so strange though. I spent a good part of my younger years feeling like a fraud. I actually said these words on more than one occasion. I felt like people were going to somehow realize that I was faking it all along. I’m not really who you think I am and one day its all going to come to light, whatever “it” is.
Of course, I wasn’t a fraud. I think maybe I just didn’t know who I was. As part of all this milestone birthday self-analysis I realized recently that this feeling has disappeared. And its been gone for a while now. I’ve been slowly figuring out who I am. I’ve given myself the space and opportunity to do some deep thinking and have made some pretty significant changes in my life that better allow me to be me and to be comfortable in my skin.
Yoga has played a huge role in all this. I’ve had some very important mentors at key points in my life who helped me to learn how to be present and observe rather than react. It’s a practice and it doesn’t come easy. I have to keep at it. But the insights I’ve been able to gather from the practice have led me to understand how changing what I do allows me to better reflect who I am. I am a strong woman, a business owner, a yoga teacher, and now a yoga studio owner.
And many, if not most, of these insights would only come with time. Sometimes I think I might be a slow learner (ha!) but then again, until I had certain experiences, I couldn’t possibly have gotten to the place I am now.
A few years ago, a friend of mine corrected one of our colleagues when he mistakenly took two years off her age in an offhand comment. “Don’t take those two years away from me. I earned them!” she responded. At the time, I just filed it away, but the comment came back to me recently.
She’s right. She did earn those years. And so did I. So do we all. It’s a much more beautiful way of looking at it. I earned each and every one of these years. And I’m proud of it! Happy birthday to me.
What milestone birthday insights have you had?
Kali's Gift Yoga Blog
I began practicing Hatha and flow, and fell in love. Not only did my body get stronger, my mind quieted and I was better able to focus. I began to develop more steadiness and ease not only on the mat, but in the rest of my life as well.