February 23. My birthday. And it feels quite significant this time…the big 3-0. It's interesting, because despite the fact that my 20's were some of the hardest and most tumultuous times in my life, I'm a little sad to see them go. I'm sad to say goodbye to the girl who thought she was a woman, who worked so hard to please people, who believed others when they said she wasn't (pretty/thin/worthy) enough, who married too young and divorced too late, who spent years cutting herself off and shutting herself down. I feel so deeply and tenderly for that girl, for those years she struggled with shitty roommates and lousy relationships and people and situations who didn't recognize or deserve the light that she brought to them. Friends who used her, boys who verbally abused her, all types of methods of closing down and shutting out, escaping, feeding feelings and fears and desires with all kinds of unhealthy habits. I long for another chance to redo my youth, to make more "right" decisions, although I know all those "wrong" decisions led me to where I am today, for which I am eternally grateful. Every single day, I am grateful for who I am and what I have and where I am.

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Without shitty roommates, co-workers and friends, I would never know the delight and joy in their opposite: a community of peers, leaders, teachers and students who see me, really see me, and love me, uplift me, inspire me. Without crappy relationships and love built on sandy foundations, I would have never been able to truly recognize how much I love and appreciate myself, how faulty my own foundation of love was. This allowed me to begin the process again, building it slowly, not with sand, but with bricks of self-love and adoration, attention and self-confidence. Without terrible self-care and destructive behavior that led to illness, I would never be able to stand in a place of health and acceptance.

After my life fell to pieces the first time, 5 years ago, I left Pennsylvania for Miami and started over again. And about 6 months into my time there, something inside me woke up. Something inside me decided to change my life for the better. And I got into every type of self-healing and spiritual education I felt one could do. I went to classes and workshops and centers. Over the years, I've had meditation coaches, life coaches, energy coaches, nutritionists, personal trainers, therapists, a soul coach, a business coach, shamans, reiki masters and massage therapists. I did silent meditation retreats, life mastery workshops, yoga weekends, and sound and light therapies. I went to spiritual awakening conferences and got certified in energy work. I traveled to see medicine men in the middle of nowhere Brazil. I took part in various ceremonies, to reach higher dimensions, connect with other parts of myself. I stretched and breathed and moved, in order to find my freedom, to find myself. And after all this hard core work, after all this clearing and healing, I'm ready to rest. I'm ready to surrender into myself, to trust myself. I know who I am now, what works for me, what doesn't. I've become unapologetic about my needs and desires. I've become intolerant of things that do not serve me, of people who do not see me, of situations that do not suit me.

My life is not easy, nor is it perfect. I struggle with some of the very things I had hoped to heal. But I know now, deep in my heart, there's nothing really "wrong" with me. That despite (or in spite of) everything I have done and experienced, I'm fine just the way I am. And I'm opening up more to allow the flow of life to carry me to the places I need to go in order to be the best version of myself and of the best service to the world.

I'll end with the blessing I gave myself on Facebook the night before my birthday: Reflecting on my last day in my 20's. It's been quite a ride...lots of joy, wonder, travel, meaning, sorrow, heartbreak, transformation. I've made amazing friends and I've lost amazing friends. I've loved hard and doubted heavily. I've stretched and grown and purposefully placed myself outside of my comfort zone. I've struggled and argued and accepted and surrendered. I'm ready to enter the next decade of my life in peace, with love. To the next ten years: May they be filled with light, laughter, love, joy, alignment, and prosperity. May I be surrounded and supported by my incredible family and friends, whose roots and reach grow stronger every day. May I be blessed with a family of my own, a loving partner who inspires me to be the best version of myself and meaningful work that makes me excited to leap out of bed every day. To the decade where I truly come into myself, accept and love myself, and fully bring my gifts to the world.

Thank you all…for coming along for the ride. <3


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