I’m 32 today. It’s an incredible feeling—tantalizing, giggly, anticipating, and full of magic. The entire day I felt like floating in the air, too excited to concentrate, too excited to even sit down. I just want to get up and dance my ass off (Yep, did some of that, too.) Someone asked what are you so excited about. I said, dunno… about life I guess. About the energy, and the beauty, and the potential inherent in each moment… so rich, so full, as if the space were about to explode.
This has been my most exciting birthday in 32 years. And I haven’t even taken my daily doze of marijuana yet 🙂
When I was six, birthday was a drag. Other kids got cards and presents from friends on their birthdays. The number of birthday cards you get is a telling metric of your popularity at school, for all the other kids to see. And I usually got nothing on my birthdays, which just tells you how insanely popular I was. I had few friends and was always alone. And when I got together with other kids, I had little to say because I felt so…different. I didn’t understand other kids and felt it was even worse the other way around.
I was a misfit. And I hated it.
I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I needed to change, to fit in, to be popular. I wanted to be sweet, warm, and pretty, to be more like Mary, Katy, or Annabel. I thought if I was popular, I’d be happy.
For the next twenty years I was on a crusade of “self improvement”. I learned to work the room, to network, to fake interest in conversations. When I finally managed to pull off an outgoing, fun-loving persona for the first time and even got complimented on it, I was so proud of myself… for five minutes. Then I was exhausted, for the rest of the day.
Pretending to be someone you are not is the most exhausting job in the world, in addition to making you feel like shit.
Then one day I gave up. I had to, because I was simply too tired (I had a fatigue condition that was highly mystical and symbolical, but that’s another story) to keep up the pretense of being a normal, well-adjusted citizen of society. Spending lots of quiet time alone, I grew interested in cultivating a serious relationship with myself, facing the aspects of me that had been denied and cast into the shallow, learning to love them and embrace them with open arms.
Little by little, the need to “improve myself” melted. The shame, the self-hatred, and the stuckness were gradually chipped away, largely under the radar of my conscious awareness. And then one day I woke up and felt like I hit the jackpot—OMG! I am in fact this beautiful, unique, quintessential being unlike anybody else! I am a one-of-a-kind gem! How come I didn’t realize this before?!
It dawned on me why I had always felt so different my whole life—because I am! I come to this world to bring unique visions, ideas, and consciousness into three-dimensional reality. And BTW, so do you! Of course others couldn’t understand me. Because I had misunderstood myself! I had been blind to the wonder and beauty of my exquisite being and tried to squeeze it into a tiny little bottle where it never belonged. It makes me laugh to think about the fact that I wanted to erase those very traits that made me who I am, just to fit in. Geez, what was I thinking? That was insane!
And I know I was not the only one that caught this peculiar brand of insanity. When I look around, I see it everywhere. We are blind to our own beauty, our own greatness. We try to cover it up, dumb it down, make a chicken out of an eaglet.
You think you need fixing. But what you really need is love for yourself.
And since I-don’t-know-when, life started feel like a big celebration of who I am, birthday or not.
So friends, here are my three blessings to you on my birthday:
- May you be yourself no matter what. Because it’s all you’ve got in this life.
- May you not ask for permission from anybody else to be yourself. Because they’re not gonna give it to you until you grant yourself the permission. You move. They will follow.
- May you never be afraid of being alone. Loneliness often triggers our primal survival fears. But remember this, all of those who came before you and made history were alone, at least at the beginning. If you want to make a unique, creative contribution to the world, then don’t expect people to understand you—they’re not going to, for a very long time. If they call you a heretic, be proud! No heretics, no human evolution.
Finally, thank you to all of you for the wonderful birthday wishes! Oh, and one more thing…
Social skills are so overrated.
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