Today (at 4:30pm) I will turn 34-years-old. 34, can you believe that? I am almost MID THIRTIES! All my life I have been a year younger than my friends. I was one of those kids that started school when they were 4 because of the way my birthday fell. I guess my mom thought I was wise enough to start early - or she was just sick of having me at home and wanted me gone. I am thinking the latter is the correct answer.
My teens were plagued with bad relationships and horrible insecurities. I never felt good enough or like I was bringing any joy to those around me, namely myself. I had very few true friends and at the time that really bothered me. I wanted to be the girl that had tons of friends - that people were drawn to because of my outgoing personality. And the funny thing about that statement is that I was captain of the cheer leading squad - so an outgoing personality was a must.
I guess in some ways I had that personality, but damn it was hard to be that way all day long - exhausting actually. I am really an introvert that acts like an extrovert. And to tell you the truth, I hate when people stare, look or attention is drawn to me. So, maybe it was good I had few friends!
College is really when I started to break out of my shell. I was a part of a sorority and had tons of friends - inside and outside of the sorority. I was free to date whomever I wanted and just had an overall blast - and, ahem...my grades may have shown that first semester. Sorry Mom!
But in my twenties, I still had insecurities - maybe more so than in my teens. I was surrounded by beautiful people from different states and parts of the world. It was hard to keep up with that. I wanted to be that natural beauty that did not have to work hard at being "a certain way".
It wasn't until I turned 28 that my transformation started. And I don't mean my looks either. I mean the internal side of me. I was married and getting ready to have Piper. Now, I did not like being pregnant and I was not one of those Mom who fantasized about this life growing inside me. I am just not mushy like that. Sorry folks. I was excited to have Piper, but I did not feel beautiful nor did I have that pregnancy "glow".
Then I had Piper. End of story. There was something about having her and the moment they placed her in my arms that I felt my life was complete. It was no longer about what I looked like on the outside, it was about being the best Mom I could be - no matter what. I took to being a Mom like a duck to water. It was amazing. My Mom still to this day wonders what happened to her selfish, insecure daughter!
It's that day that changed my life forever. The insecurities I had started to fade away and I actually started to feel beautiful. And I needed to feel that way because I had a daughter that needed to see her Mom feel good about herself and be an example to her as she grows up, because let's face it, there is NOTHING fun about being a female and growing up in today's society. We are at such a disadvantage from what TV and magazines tell us to look like. It's unfair and at times cruel.
I have not dreaded one birthday since I was 28. With each birthday that passes, I feel more blessed and at peace than the year prior. My thirties have, without a doubt, been the best years of my life. I don't worry about what people think of me or what I wear when I step out of the house. If people don't like it, they don't have to look. Actually, PLEASE DO NOT look. Thank you very much.
Now, I would be lying if I said I never have bad days where I feel "fat" or just plain unattractive. But here's the difference, I am smart enough to know that I am being ridiculous and that the day will pass and tomorrow when I wake up is a new day. And that no matter what, I am surrounded by people who love me with all their heart and see me as beautiful EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Thank you to my friends and especially my family, I love you more than I could ever say. And happy 34th birthday to me - BRING ON 35!