One of my favorite songs is still Strawberry Wine by Deanna Carter. I know every word of that entire album actually. It's this lyric, among others, that stuck with me when I first heard it in 1996... (HOLY crap. That was almost 20 years ago.)
I still remember when thirty was old.
I used to hear that and think "... still remember?!? I STILL think 30 is old."
And now here I am. 30. Wow.
I feel like turning older is one of those things that can be scary in the abstract and then the second that you are there you think, "Huh. Cool. I'm thirty." For me this birthday has been such a great time of reflection and the thing that I keep coming back to is how GRATEFUL I am. It is permeating me and choking me out in the best way. When I am not at work there is not an hour that goes by where I don't stop and think either aloud or quietly, "I am so damn lucky. Look at all that I have. How did I get to be so annoyingly cheesily hashtag blessed?" The answer comes fast and furious from the ego: "Because you worked your ass off. You worked on yourself and you continue to do so." While this is a true statement Mr. Ego, when I am able to shut you up for a second, the answer becomes more true.
I am blessed by being in community with other people. By being vulnerable with them and with myself. By exercising forgiveness for myself and for others. By letting things go nearly immediately. By no longer having to work so dang hard at being in the moment. By not taking things so personally and by understanding that everyone's actions that slight me AREN'T ABOUT ME.
I frequently say things like, "You've got to do the work and own your own shit." Or, "You get the right to make your life look the way that you want it to look. No matter what ANYONE thinks." But my most favorite go to when talking to friends who are having issues is, "THAT AIN'T ABOUT YOU KID." Cause it's not. When your parents fight and throw fits about not spending enough time with them or doing it the exact way they want you to... that isn't about YOU! That is their crap. Their ego, their insecurities, their fears being projected onto you.
When people say things that categorically aren't true about you (i.e., you didn't invite me to your wedding... when in truth, I have the calligrapher's receipt for that invitation, I mailed said invitation, and said invitation was never returned to me), the phrase that allows me to let it go is that that lie IS NOT ABOUT ME. Even though it seems to be. Even though the subject of said lie appears to be directly and categorically about me.
But. It isn't.
And for clarification, my only intention EVER is to make others lives better. My actions are still working to line up with that intention all of the time, but I am working on it.
So those are the things that I am reflecting on after 30 years of life. Gratitude and separating others crap from my own. It might not seem like much (those two blessings) but MAN OH MAN did I work for 30 hard years to be aware of those two simple principles.