Yesterday was my birthday. My 45th birthday. While some may lament the loss of their youth with each passing year, I am celebrating turning 45. And to celebrate, I created a list of 45 things I want to do this year.
Why? That sounds a little “bucket-list”ish, right? I suppose it does. But this is not about things to accomplish before I die. This is about celebrating that I am alive! It is recognizing that I will never again have the opportunities I have today, right now. It is about embracing all the things, doing all the things, loving big, experiencing joy, and appreciating the people who have supported me getting here.
44 was not such a great year for me. I struggled with serious anxiety, stress and feelings of hopelessness. Not too many people know the depth of struggle I faced over the year. For months I fought daily with my brain just to survive. I managed to keep most of my suffering to myself, but there are some with whom I was able to share that pain – the pain of feeling unworthy of love or of feeling not good enough. It was a year of feeling surrounded by darkness, and believing the world would be better off without me. But thankfully, those who could see my struggle did not sweep it under the rug. They called it out, shone light on it, and encouraged me to find support.
So now, after nearly a year, I can honestly say that all the therapy, the medication, doing the hard work every day, looking inward and learning how to express emotion instead of pushing it down, has been worth it. I no longer feel hopeless. I know I have a purpose, that I belong, that I am worthy of love and that I am enough. My healing journey has often felt like one step forward and two back, and I know that I still have work to do. And this is why Forty-Five things is so important to me.
So what is Forty-Five things? Over the past few months I have put together a list of things I want to accomplish, experiences I want to have, moments I want to make into memories. Some of these are simple. Some are really scary. And I believe all have something to teach me about life. This blog (Item #7) is the place I will share what I have done and what I am learning through my experiences.
I hope that a year from now, I will look back and see how rich and beautiful this life is. I hope I will see stronger relationships, a better understanding of who I am, and will be less concerned about how others see me. This list is very personal. I feel very vulnerable sharing it publicly. Some who read it will see me. Some will not. Some may laugh or mock this project. Somehow, I will need to be ok with that.
Thanks for following me on this journey. May it inspire you to ask how you want to spend your next journey around the sun.
Photo by Simon Migaj