This past week has definitely been the week of revelations.
As I mentioned in my previous post my birthday is in August. Birthdays (and not just mine) are a big deal to me. A combination of how I was raised (my mother always went all out for our birthdays) and my personality give me an affinity to celebrating birthdays. I believe that there is nothing more beautiful than celebrating life and the fact that each of us are a gift to the world. In my case, turning 29 and realizing that this is the last year of my 20’s made me really want to do something major.
I decided to have a week-long worth of events doing all the things that I love to do. I haven’t planned a birthday party/event for myself here in Vegas in two years. The last time I planned a birthday dinner only one person out of the ten I invited showed up. From that experience on I decided I would spend my birthday out-of-town or out of the country. Things have changed since then, I’ve developed a more solid circle of friends. So I planned several events for my birthday and the way those events unfolded presented me with some valuable lessons.
August 19th marked the two-year anniversary of Life’s Altar. I remember the place I was in when I first started this blog and why I started it. I’m in a totally different place, in a positive way. 200 plus blog posts definitely show my growth. At the same time I’ve managed to stay true to the purpose of this blog. Which was to chronicle my life’s journey.
My friends were my biggest teachers this week. They certainly showed me through their actions who is truly in my corner and who is not. Despite the fact that I organized an entire weeks worth of events there were still some “friends” of mine who did not show up to anything. There are a few that I expected to flake on me and a few others that surprised me with their absence. Of course this hurt me. I’m that loyal friend that always goes above and beyond for others so to have those same people choose not to celebrate my birthday with me hurt. I guess this goes back to the insight I had a while ago about support. I’ve already realized the importance of immersing myself in a strong support system but the events of my birthday week really drove it home for me. I understand that it’s crucial for me to have equal balanced relationships. That I can’t regularly engage with selfish people. I also realized that there are a few relationships in my life that I need to let go of.
At twenty-nine years old I’m finally defining myself. I’m comfortable and confident in my own skin and because of this I was able to finally “come out” to my mother. My sexuality has never been a secret, to anyone. But my mother was inclined to ignore the obvious and pretend like my gay friends, homoerotic poetry, and attendance at Pride events were nothing more than a sign of my free-spirited nature. In that assumption she was partially right but it wasn’t the whole of it. I’ve tended to avoid the conversation because I knew how she would handle having to confront the truth. But you can only avoid something for so long. So when she came right out and asked me I responded with complete honesty. The talk we had actually went better than I expected. Whether my mother approves of my lifestyle or not is irrelevant–she respects me as an adult and my decisions. That’s what’s important.
I’ve finally stopped being a martyr. I was recently faced with having to choose between making a move that would be extremely beneficial for me and a relationship with someone who I care deeply about. Well needless to say I decided to do what was in my best interest, resulting in the loss of that relationship. As much as the situation hurts me the consequences were worth it. First and foremost, my decision feels right. Also I can’t continue to sacrifice my needs and ignore opportunities to reach my goals for the sake of others. No relationship should even require me to have to do that to begin with. What I learned from this is that women are not allowed to be selfish. We are conditioned to always put the needs of others before our own. This conditioning is reinforced when we are punished whenever we choose to claim our agency. This is basically what happened to me. I made the choice to put my needs before another and was subsequently punished for it. I’ve lost the fear of such punishments though. Denying myself of my own happiness is worse.
The last year of my 20’s has shown me the importance of focusing on self. That everything I engage in should be done so with the intention of what’s in my best interest. My life’s purpose is slowly being revealed to me, along with those who would support me on my journey. And as always I am extremely thankful for the lessons that life teaches me.