On Birthdays and The Fear of Change

“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change …I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back…” – Erica Jong

Today is my birthday. This year, instead of allowing the reminder that my life is not where I thought it would be by this age swallow me, I said fuck that and instead bought myself a new tattoo and a writing course to celebrate and break out of my fear of change. I also ate sushi and birthday cake with my mommy and daddy and was given a meditation cushion that has been on my Amazon wishlist for months that I’m unreasonably excited about.

Last year, my birthday was a thing of great mourning. As it had for several years, it reminded me of all the A+B=C’s that I’ve missed throughout the years, and as a result my life doesn’t look like most of the people’s lives I went to high school with and others my age. Last year it reminded me that I haven’t A) met someone great and gotten married and B) had two or three kids and C) dutifully created the life I’m “supposed” to have by now.

Instead, to me, my life looked like a fairytale gone horribly wrong. A dream come true only to shatter to pieces. An existence many people dream of followed by one of failure. A glamorous, and in many ways, successful acting career that turned into moving home to my family to treat severe depression and bulimia.

I lived for so long in this story. The fear of change, the fear of what came next for me, the fear of never finding my purpose, the fear of depression taking my life. These are all things I woke up every day with and went to sleep every night with. Things that influenced my thoughts and actions and decisions like that third glass of wine. The toxicity of this story seeped through my veins and echoed through every cell in my body.

This year, I choose to “…go ahead, despite the pounding in my heart that says turn back.” I choose to accept that my future will no longer look like my past, and I choose to walk forward into the changes that are in front of me, holding shaking hands with my fear instead of kicking and screaming, clawing at the past, desperate to stay there.

This year, I choose freedom.

Happy Birthday to me.

xx

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