Hi there! I wanted to say thank you so much for all of the encouraging birthday messages on FB on Tuesday. Reading through them made my day extra special. I can honestly say that this year was my favorite birthday yet!
In my twenties, I got emotional every year on my birthday, and for some reason, the general emotion was sadness. I had no idea where it was coming from, but I’d inevitably find myself in tears at some point during the day.
Looking back, I think I was grieving all the changes that come with growing up, like leaving my family of origin to create a new family, becoming an adult and all the responsibilities that come with that, for which I felt ill-prepared.
Then, mixed into those growing pains was grieving the loss of my dreams. It felt like they were this whole other life inside of me I didn’t know how to access, but longed to tap into, and I realized I was missing. And eventually, grieving the loss of my husband and our family and future together.
After Andrew passed away, I went through seasons of feeling sorry for myself that I no longer had a spouse to do something for me on my birthday. Over time and through lots of reading, coaching, counseling, self-reflection, prayer, and working through the painful emotions, I realized it’s no one’s responsibility but my own to make me feel loved.
So, I started doing for myself what I unknowingly expected others to do for me— what a game-changer.
I began planning out my birthday and filling it with all the activities that brought me joy, and occasionally it worked out to do some of those activities with the people I love. I stopped waiting for others to give me what I could give to myself, which has brought me a more profound sense of peace, security, and contentment.
This year, I celebrated a few days early by going to the spa with my mom. After that, we met up with my dad, aunt, and Ellie for dinner at a fun restaurant, H+G Supply Co.
On my actual birthday, I took a Pilates class, went to one of my favorite restaurants, True Foods, in Dallas with some of my college roommates, and then I went to Dallas Theological Seminary to hear one of my mentors, Bill Hendricks, give a 2.5-hour talk on grief. After the talk, I took myself to dinner at my favorite Thai Food restaurant, Thai Ruby, and finally drove back home to eat Sprinkles cupcakes with my Ellie girl!
I realized on this birthday I’ve come a long way and grown up a lot over the years. All of the internal work is starting to crystallize, and I can finally see the fruit of the work paying off in my mental, emotional, and physical health.
I’m forging my path, embracing my story, and taking ownership of it all to create a life that is fulfilling and meaningful to me. Best birthday gift of all! Love and Gratitude.
PS – I’m opening up my calendar to work with new coaching clients! If you want to give yourself the gift of dedicated time to do some self-reflection and personal growth, or work toward your goals and dreams, then feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on working with me!
Bailey, you are a young woman who has developed great wisdom on your journey. Your gift to others is sharing your testimony. “We go through what we have gone through, so we may help others get through what they are going through”. Can’t wait to see how you continue to bless this world. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement Robert. I really appreciate you following our journey and spurring me on along the way. Your kindness has made a world of difference in my life. I’ve been praising God for all He’s doing in your family’s lives!! So grateful for y’all. Love and Blessings Robert.