Today is my 36th birthday!
We have been joking of course that it is my 29th Birthday again.....because who wants to be 36? BUT something hit me, in the joking I started thinking about where I was at in my life at 29 and I realized that my 29th birthday....that entire year was one of the most life changing, self-discovery years of my life.
How ironic that we would joke about that specific year.
The weekend after I turned 29 I spent 5 days locked in a mental health/suicide watch facility in Tennessee.
That was the moment.
That AH-HA moment, the light switch moment, the GAME CHANGER!
I was forced to stop. I was forced to disconnect. I was forced to truly face my demons. I hated every second of it....for the first 3 days I resisted, I fought, I cried.....and then I was blown away at the progress, at the peace at the "lightness" I was feeling.
This was the best thing that could have EVER happened to me.
After I was released everything in my life changed!
A few weeks later, March 7th, John and I got married.
In June we found out that we were having a baby.
For the first time I started to LIVE MY LIFE.
I started to dive in and truly discover who I was, who I wanted to be and I started making those changes! I started forgiving myself, forgiving others, I started learning and understanding my weaknesses, diving into the WHY of my life...the cycles and patterns, learning to say NO, learning to love myself and recognize that my worth was NOT found in others and it was NOT found in how I look.
I had to own up to mistakes that I had made. I had to pay great consequences for choices and actions. I had to serve my time, pay my debt to society, find forgiveness in those lives that had changed by my hand. I had to humble myself to stand up and say guilty. I had to accept my punishment and bare it well.
I started to grieve. I gave myself permission to feel EVERYTHING that I was feeling about placing my son for adoption, for the years of silent suffering and avoidance, for the hate that I had felt toward myself, the hate I felt toward others involved. I learned to accept the realities, to release the lies surrounding the experience, mourn for the loss and most importantly I learned that I had a VOICE. A voice that mattered. I voice that I wanted to share as authentically and as vulnerably as I possibly could.
My life truly started at 29.
I have learned so much and have been through so much during these past 7 years since that birthday. I have reflected often on that year and all that took place.
What a beautiful time to be alive. What a blessing to experience all that I have. What a miracle that God brought me through it all. What an honor to love who I love and to know and serve so many amazing people.
Cheers to another great year of love, growth and service!!!!