Happy Birthday to Me! (4 things I've learned this year)

Monday, December 19, 2016

The thing about having a birthday at the end of the month, at the end of the year - is that major reflection on the past 365 days is bound to happen. I'm sure a lot of us do this, but for me, there's no way to avoid the "OK, what the hell did I do this year? What did I learn? What was 2016 about?"

The answers hit me hard this morning. And as tough as some parts of this past year have been (see here), the bigger picture is worth savoring. At least for the NEXT 365 days.

1. Letting go is sometimes the right answer.
I'm a fighter by nature and I always pride myself in never giving up. This gumption has served me well my entire life - I'm the one who gets things DONE. I fight hard. Only through gritted teeth and clawed fingernails will I release something, especially something I love - even if it's KILLING me. But what I've realized (big time this year) is that if something is holding you back, if something hurts your soul, and stunts your growth, if you've tried and tried and given it your truthful ALL, then letting go is not only OK, but necessary. (And so freeing!)

2. Sometimes friends choose you.
There are a few new people in my life who have chosen to not give up on me this year. Somehow they just decided that we are going to be friends. Not through anything drastic, just by continuing to show support and love and understanding through my canceled plans, overextended schedule, and lack of time to devote to nurturing these friendships. This year kicked my butt in more ways than one, and I've been too busy existing in survival mode to see anything else most days. But then I look back and I see these beautiful faces (some I've known forever, some who just decided G*dammit, Tanya, we are going to be friends!) looking at me saying "hey, we got you, it's all good" and I want to sob with appreciation. I know there will be a time when I can return the favor. I love you guys. (You know who you are.)

3. Getting older is pretty awesome.
I have this friend who I've known since my baby actress days in my twenties. I've always looked up to her, well, because she's older, but also because she's a truth teller. You want real, honest, conversation? That's what you'll get. She has always had this wisdom about life and love and growing up. (Although in a way, she refuses to grow up. I think that's her super-power.) This super-friend said to me this year "Tanya, as you get older you start to feel less inclined to make excuses and apologies. You just are who you are, and you love who you are! So be YOU. Give what you can give, do what you can do, and the right people (for you) will love you for it." (See #2)
WOW. Lightbulb moment.

Paige DenimOld Navy Cardigan (sold out, might still be avail in stores)Sole Society Boots (old, similar here)

4. Everyone speaks a different love language
This is a big one. This is based off a book called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and was originally written for married couples on how to understand one another's "love language" and speak it to them in a way that makes them feel loved. For example, one person might show love by giving gifts, while another shows it by spending quality time together. There's an updated version of this book for "singles" or anyone, really. I'm not single, and my marriage is solid (we apparently speak one another's love language well) but I'm wanting to learn how to figure out some of my other relationships that have always seemed hard. When I finally read this book it made so much sense! Being able to show and give love is not just for romantic partners - it's for all relationships. And what an eye opener to know that even if you feel like you are giving (sometimes a whole lot) to another person, if it's not their "love language" they won't feel appreciated or feel love from you at all. And sometimes, sometimes - certain people, certain things are worth not giving up on. (You also know who you are.) Paying attention to love language is a way of saying "OK, this is me and this is how I show love, but if you need more, I'll try to speak your language. Because you mean that much to me."

So here I am... 365 days older, hoping I've gotten a few things right along the way, and challenging myself to do better one step, one year at a time... Hoping and wishing the same for you. 

PS - 5. Wide-leg culottes look good on NO ONE. 
OK, that was five. But it's true. Let that trend fade. 

With Love, 

T xx