Shout out to Jay-Z because any dude who uses the hook from Annie’s Hard Knock Life and turns it into a rap anthem is cool in my book. But I digress, July is my birthday month. I am a Cancer who was born in the Year of the Rabbit. I am also turning 44 on Saturday. Gulp. 44 is an awfully big number, y’all. Super big. BIG!!!!!
44 Reflections on My Birthday
I’ve previously shared reflections/observations/lessons around my birthday but July wasn’t a great month for me last year so I skipped doing it. This year I wanted to bring it back. Some reflections I’ve shared before but sometimes I need to remind myself again and again and again before it truly sinks in. Also, I’m 44. There is a distinct possibility that I forgot what I previously shared too. In no particular order …
- Don’t chase perfection. It’s impossible to catch.
- Do spend gobs and gobs of time snuggling with your cat. Or your human or your fur baby. It’s time well spent.
- Don’t dwell on past mistakes and wounds. It’s not like you should pretend they never happened, but you don’t have to bask in the hurt either. Move forward.
- Happiness is truly the best revenge against anyone who hurt(s) you, whether with intentional malice or out of ignorance.
- Getting healthy is hard for me. And I’m learning to accept that as a simple truth, like the sun is yellow versus a poor reflection upon myself.
- I like food, some of it not healthy. And that’s okay too. Plain salad may never be my favorite meal, but my get healthy success doesn’t depend on loving it either.
- “No, thank you.” is a perfectly fine response and one that can stand on its own, without further explanation.
- You are never “done”. You are always evolving, changing, learning and growing.
- Smart people know that Diet Coke is the true drink of Gods, not wine. 😉
- Coffee is also the drink of Gods. This is scientific fact.
- Diversity makes us stronger, not weaker. Those who fear people who look differently, think differently and are different than themselves are the real problem.
- I stand by my belief that Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner are cats.
- No amount of heel will make anyone believe that I am tall.
- The best Marvel superhero is and shall always be: Goose, The Cat. Followed by Black Panther, also a cat.
- I’m not ashamed by how often I think about Max, talk about Max or smooch on Max.
- Grief is a sign of love. It lessens over time but will always be there, which is a good thing. You’ve given a loved one the greatest honor – loving them as long as you lived, which is something special, rare and beautiful.
- Forgiving yourself isn’t always easy but keep trying.
- You are enough.
- Life isn’t about living up to the expectations others or the world has for you. It’s about you living up to your own expectations, be they lofty dreams or not. They belong to you and are your right.
- Those who shit on you and make you feel insignificant and stupid for daring to dream or having ambitions are the very people who were too afraid to chase after their own dreams. When they see you living your best life, it triggers them and reminds them of their own smallness, so they put you down to make themselves big again. Not all dreams are meant to come true and that’s okay. But whatever you do – don’t let the naysayers stop you from believing in yourself. Or worse – be your own biggest naysayer.
- Life truly is a journey. What you want at 10, at 20, at 30, at 44 will be the same and different and that’s okay. Honor where you are in your journey.
- I am woman, hear me roar.
- Strawberry cake and red velvet cupcakes are yummy and delicious. And I swear that I don’t love them because they are pink and red–my two favorite colors.
- Human feet can be lovely, weird, and groddy-to-the-max, but cat feet are always, always adorable. ALWAYS!
- I may be a better reader than writer. Or maybe I’m still holding myself back, censoring thoughts, words and feelings and only letting the generic, safe and boring flow out.
- Sometimes when I sit at my desk for a long time and get up, my knees creak when I walk. I don’t like this.
- I am a known plant serial killer and have killed every single plant I have ever attempted to grow. But I am also a giver of life to my two, rescued cats, Emeril (RIP, my best boy kitty) and Max. And I would much rather give life and home to cats then plants.
- I am a Korean who does not like Korean food. I love Italian food. Mexican food. Middle Eastern food. Indian food. I do love Chinese food but not really a big fan of Japanese or Thai food. I feel bad being an Asian who doesn’t really like Asian food.
- One of my biggest dreams is to hire a housekeeper. It’s not a lofty dream but one I want deeply because I hate cleaning.
- Once upon a time, it irritated me when people thought I was younger than I looked, and my parents told me that I would miss hearing that some day … and today is NOT that day, because the lady at the DMV told me I looked 18. Holla Fallon – you the best! And I cannot believe I just hallelujah-ed the DMV.
- Failure isn’t the end. It is a beginning. You tried something and it didn’t work, which is hard and may require mourning time. But it also ushers in a new dream or goal, which may be the one you were always meant to achieve.
- Depression is a part of my story, but it is not my whole story. It is, in fact, the least interesting part of me. I need to treat it as such.
- Some days I believe myself to be brilliant, perhaps even a genius. And other days I trip over my own feet, can’t remember how to spell “the”, and forget to put coffee grounds in the coffeemaker before hitting brew.
- There are lots of things I’d tell my younger self but it all boils down to this important life lesson: wear sunscreen! 44 you is super pissed that 28 you did not religiously wear sunscreen. Girl, we got them age spots and they ain’t glorious.
- It’s hard coming up with 44 reflections/lessons/observations.
- I procrastinate. Often times the really important things. The things that scare me and also really matter and excite me on a cellular level. It is my most vicious form of self-sabotage. I am trying to break myself of this.
- It’s time to smash the patriarchy. But before equality for all can truly exist, we, as women, must also acknowledge how we supported/continue to support patriarchal norms. Many women are resistant to this because they want to pretend they didn’t behave in such a manner but we all did – to varying degrees and lengths of time because IT WAS THE NORM. Being an unwitting participant doesn’t make you a horrible person or evil but choosing not to learn, to listen, to adjust and to be better ongoing – will make you a co-conspirator from here on out. Make the right choice.
- It’s not fair that macaroni and cheese or french fries or cinnamon rolls makes your booty big, while romaine lettuce and radishes and green peppers do not.
- I’ve discovered certain books increase my anxiety exponentially, which is partially why my reading funk persists. Sorry murder books. I still heart you but apparently need to be all happy, happy, joy, joy to read you without needing a Xanax afterwards.
- A baby step is okay.
- I am more Type A than I like to admit. To be fair, I’m only really Type A in some areas. Other areas, like putting away my laundry, I’m Type Sloth.
- I’ve succeeded; I’ve failed. Failing hurts but it’s not the worst result. Giving up on yourself and/or downplaying your dreams or abilities is. Why? At some point, you stop trying and settle for crumbs, and those talents you have (yes, we all have them) atrophy and wither away.
- It’s been a bit bleak in the world lately, but I still believe in the goodness of people. That light will overcome dark. Life, after all, is the oldest, grandest tale still being told. Good and evil continually fight an epic battle for the soul of humanity. When evil’s chokehold seems invincible, we rise up in our different shapes and sizes, colors and creeds – imperfect in almost every way – yet united in our belief in love, liberty, and freedom. We punch back, exposing evil’s dark lies to its mortal enemy: the light of truth. Right now, we’ve been fighting skirmishes with wins and losses, but I do believe that we – the hope and light – will prevail in the end.
- Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love.
And Just One More …
And as a bonus … 44 is still freaking young and I look good, baby. 😀 Also I hate taking selfies with a passion. I might be the absolute worst at it. Maybe I ought to be proud of that fact? Yes, I have decided to a proudly bad selfie-taker.
Happy Birthday to Me
My plans are pretty simple. I have a birthday brunch, although not until next week, and a birthday breakfast scheduled. And yes, breakfast is my favorite meal (but I’m still a big fan of lunch and dinner too). I’m looking forward to all the carbs because they don’t count on your birthday. They. Do. Not. Count. I repeat: calories/carbs don’t count when eaten on or around your birthday. This is irrefutable law. Don’t question it.
Do you have great lessons to share with me, as I bravely move into my 44th year on this earth? I’ve also decided that 44 will be great – end of discussion.