Last week I turned 36.
Last year (obviously), I turned 35. And I ran away from it. I ran as far as I could go, somewhere where I would know no one. I went to Thailand. On my own. And it ended up being a magical place. It ended up being one of my all-time favorite birthday experiences and travel memories. As a result of that trip, I found myself in Australia and Italy. As a result of my trip to Australia, I found myself in Argentina. That one choice to escape my 35th birthday eventually led me down a Choose Your Own Adventure path I never saw coming.
And now I am here. I have nearly zero vacation days left for 2013 as I have used them all for my travels. And my travels have added memories and friends for a lifetime, as I know. But I also know I cannot- and should not- escape any longer. I am 36.
I am 36 and I have no husband. I have no kids. I have no home that I own, I have nothing that is really mine – other than those memories. And as I get older, and as each birthday comes, I continue to search internally for what that means.
Lately, a pattern of events have happened that have gotten me to this place. My multiple trips in a short period. My trip to Italy. Chakra training. Certain people I have met and spoken with. I spent time with my old childhood friend and observed a lot of his own behavior that drove me nuts about him- were actually things I loathed about myself. Escaping reality, hiding behind stories, inflation. And of course… my birthday itself.
My friends took me out for my birthday earlier in the week. A Sunday Funday. And while I don’t like to admit this, I’m going to, because I need a change to happen. We had a day of drinks… sounds typical. And it was a lot of fun. But at the end of the night, the person who walked me home was someone I had only met a couple of hours earlier. And he would later recount to me, that in my daze I told him that I was lonely. In life. That I was all alone, that I was (perhaps) I was meant to be on a solo path for the remainder of my life.
Everything is ok, fine. The guy is a nice guy. I went out with him a couple of days later- which is when he told me this- so I don’t want you to fret. But that in of itself- that at the end of my own celebration, I was alone on my birthday night- was a blaring indication of what 36 meant up to that point: Lonely.
And at first, I tried to shake it off. But I spoke the truth to him. There was no filter. No ego. No gate. I really believe I am alone. And this absolutely bothers me. I’ve thought about it non-stop since he told me I said that.
Again. Saying this out loud to some people I know and some total strangers is hard for me. And admitting that I drank to the point of telling someone this- someone who was pretty much a stranger and allowing him to take me home- at age (nearly) 36- is also hard for me to say out loud. And it is embarrassing… but also completely eye-opening. This was my most vulnerable speaking to someone I didn’t even know because it was -and is- the truth. And I want to speak truth. By speaking truth, I believe change will come.
I am sure many of you find this surprising. I am a cute, fun girl. I have my sh%^ together, for the most part. I have a job, friends, and amazing travel adventures. But maybe most of you, don’t. And you probably have thought I have chosen- by choice – to live the free and single life. Well, you are right, I have chosen it… but not by conscious effort.
Now before you think it sounds like I’m about to jump off a bridge… I’m not. Because you see, I created this for myself. And it is all coming to light now- on my birthday- as I am turning 36. I don’t regret a thing, I just know that I needed to get to this place- this place at age 36- to understand why and how it is I have manifested this life for myself…. and begin to create the turning point.
I also need to stop the internal thoughts… technically, I am not lonely. I have wonderful friends and family and two loveable fuzzballs. I have all the resources I need to live a non-lonely life… I just don’t engage them the way I should. In fact, I’ve been blocking them all out for the majority of my life. Leaving a nice safety space between them all.
Maybe this is me just getting a year older. And there is some stuff that needs to be done. Internally. Externally. There are some repairs that need to be made and fixing to be done. If I want to be the best 36 I can be, I have to be open and truthful about who and what I am and where I want to be.
I don’t mean this post to sound like an outloud therapy session. I know I have a lot of people read this and maybe some of you resonate with this, or know a sister or someone like me and don’t know what to do about it. “Oh, she’s gorgeous and smart- she’s probably never alone.” I would check in on that person, because they may need you more than they know- or know how to communicate.
I’m 36. I want to build a life with someone. I want to be close to my friends and family. And I want to get myself out of the way for it.
Happy (New) Birthday to me 🙂