Good morning, birthday girl.
You were on my heart late last night so I followed the love and wrote to you. And yes, I am crying already. I hope that as you read this, you find some words here and hold them close as you move throughout today.
The first thing I want you to know this birthday morning: You are enough and I am proud of you.
This has been such a hard year for you and yet you’ve continued to walk through it heart first. There is no shame in admitting that it’s hurt just as much as it’s been happy since your last birthday, if not more so. You can even admit that you’re sad right now.
Sad that Susan is gone and that you won’t hear her sing along with Kim when she calls for the “Happy Birthday” serenade. But you know what? Tracy will be there to sing it with her. It won’t be as good but you know you’ll laugh and feel the love. This hole in your heart is just as much a light for you as it is a loss.
Sad that you’re another year older and that the dream you’ve chased since childhood feels that much further away. But are you still a child? You’ve lived a big life and learned far more than the child you once were. So if you have grown and evolved, why wouldn’t the dream grow and evolve along with you? You know you’re on the right path, even if it feels like you’re the only one who knows it. Which is fine for now because you’re the only one who’s going to get it done.
Sad and worried about your family for so many reasons, you don’t need me to share the list. The way your family loves and comes through for one another is a force to be reckoned with. But there is a point where you have to distinguish the difference between being supportive and trying to save. Learning to let go of what you cannot change does not mean you are loving anyone any less.
Sad that since you’ve been out of “hustle mode” this year, you’re now feeling forgotten. I have a lot of feelings on the subject but the most important thing to remember is this: You cannot grieve and hustle. Each one will require all of you. I know it was a very difficult choice to make and that only one of the choices has ever given you applause, literally and figuratively. But you chose correctly and deep down you know that. You’ve built yourself so resilient, so strong and you know you show up when it counts. No one thinks to check the tree after the storm. So let go of the guilt you’ve been carrying because of the people you think you’ve let down. The people who are your people will still be there for you when it’s time. Do not abandon yourself for the sake of everyone else because that cross can take a lifetime to put down.
If you want people to know about you again, you’ll have no problem doing so. You’ve done it before. But when self-doubt creeps in, it gets easier to confuse “being seen” for being known for who you are. And while you’ll always feel more pressure for the first, remember true peace resides only in the latter. When you’re ready, no one will mistake which place you’re coming from.
I’m sure you’re more than exhausted by now, as I have gone on longer than I intended to. But I wanted to share all of this with you before you started in your first day at this new age. Maybe I needed to say it just as much as you needed to hear it.
I am proud of you. Happy Birthday.