This. Is. 40.

To be honest, I've put a lot of pressure on myself regarding the Big Birthday Post. I'm not sure what my dear readers want to hear, and I always strive to share what I know will resonate with you the most. This has been a very complicated and layered year, all leading up to my life cycle beginning anew (as it does each day, but the regular days aren't deemed balloon worthy๐ŸŽˆ๐Ÿ˜‰). I grappled with the message of this post being one of empowerment, one of gratitude, one of struggle, one about being single. I know readers understandably love stories about divorce. About a woman grabbing herself up by her bootstraps, and going forth with strength and positivity, with honest difficulties sprinkled on top. I like stories like that too. We all find ourselves in places of despair, being held under water while trying so hard to claw our way to the safety and predictability of land. People who are on the precipice of crumbling, but don't. We like these tales because they are at once relatable and hopeful. Anyone claiming to live a shellacked existence is fucked; one day the slightest crack in their armor will send them flying into a tailspin. "Perfect" is a dangerous word. It sets you up for failure. It's those of us who can face shit that will break the surface and hungrily gasp for fresh air, reviving ourselves with a breath so furious that it jolts us back to Life. I have always known  that extreme joy cannot be understood without extreme sadness. I hate the idea that "ignorance is bliss". Ignorance to me is death of the mind, of the spirit, of the self. If you dumb yourself down, how can you possibly know what you need to live a joyful, wondrous, fulfilling life?

Having grown up in a family whose main purpose was to maniacally convey to the world how "perfect" they were, all the while covering up layers of poisonous emotional sediment that would eventually come to bite all of us in the arse, I went the opposite route. I will choose blunt honesty and vulnerability every time. I find such strength in admitting I sometimes feel lost, unmoored, bored, or just plain sad. That is what allows me to be bathed with the wonderful parts of life in such a pure state. From darkness to light, every time. I mean, how good is that first sip of orange juice after Yom Kippur?

I dated someone a couple times who works in the entertainment industry. Our brief relationship went off course when he became fixated on turning my life into a television series for netflix. I have heard this before, which is flattering but would cost my family its privacy. He tried to be all showbiz manipulative by saying ,"You don't realize how important your story is." He was wrong. I know exactly how important and interesting my story is, and I could write Season 1 in a week. I have envisioned every opening and closing credit, and every episode in my head. I know the soundtrack, I have casting ideas. He said, "You are a woman who would not live her life being ignored." I replied, "Well, you're ignoring me right now by not respecting my reasons for not doing this." I feel much safer sharing my story with you via this blog.

Judging by the growth of the blog and the increase of readers from exactly a year ago, it seems we are on the right path together. The blog and I have the same birthday (along with my brother and my dearly departed boxer, Roxy). Celebrating my birthday this year was also a time to look back and reflect on how far Lady Blaga has come as a brand. 40 for me, among so many other things, means I have my own business. Saying I never thought that'd be part of my reality is an understatement. I was raised to be a housewife and nothing more. No one ever wanted more for me, including myself. We believe what we are told. When I started rejecting the story others wrote for me without my permission, that set new paths into motion. Paths I wanted to stay on. Paths I must have always wanted to take, since they wouldn't have materialized without some measure of subconscious intention and desire. Uncovering all that blocks our own wishes and dreams is hard work. It's scary, it can blow your carefully constructed paper life to bits. I swear it's worth it. I am living proof. As I look back on what has unfolded since I'm 39, I am amazed by the power of the partnership between us and the world. The universe so organically wants to steer us towards our dreams, but it can't tell us what our dreams are. That's up to us. It's both daunting and empowering to know that our entire life is in our own hands. The past year I have occasionally wept with gratitude at our ability to heal ourselves. The level of freedom and love we have the potential to feel is infinite. I have learned I am enough, that I am my own home. Being married or single is irrelevant to that fact.

I was on the beach today, envisioning something I'll say to a man when I'm one day sitting on a beach with him. This was the conversation I imagined: after he asks me how I'm enjoying the vacation, I say this, "Everything else is secondary to being here with you." Then I quickly said the same exact thing to myself. I burst into an a thousand watt grin as I looked up at the sky. Oh man, do I want Love. I dream about it every minute of every day. I was built for it. It doesn't scare me, as I know it does many people. That to me is like being afraid of a butterfly, and who doesn't delight in watching a beautiful butterfly flapping peacefully about? However this year has been a lesson in learning to love myself. I am not entirely there yet. I need to remind myself constantly that I deserve the kind of love I'd so easily give to others. I feel sad for myself that I don't know that, that I have to re pattern by meditating on being worthy of receiving. Why wasn't that instilled in me before?? I had to be 39 before I started to fight for myself. It is my right. But as I said before, that sadness has led to tremendous growth, since it has taught me so much about myself. Every lesson is important. When we are happy we think everything is great, so we don't look to learn. Why search when all is peachy? It is only in a dark room that we feel around for the light switch.

I spoke to my kids last night about how though I want love, it doesn't mean that sitting in Mexico with them on this beach, at this exact moment, is anything but perfect. About how life is a constant balance of looking forward while loving the present. Always reaching while standing strong, steady, and firm. I said the speech with tears and snot pouring out of me.  I dreamt for many years about running away with my kids to a beach. I have laughed with many girlfriends who have had this same fantasy. To be mothers amongst Mother Nature. Well, here I am. With these four humans who were selected to enter the world through my body. Out of the billions of souls, these were given to me. They are the four chambers of my heart. This doesn't mean my heart can't fit in others. Two years ago the thought of boarding a plane alone would have filled me with anxiety. Today, at 40, I took my four kids with several suitcases to another country by myself. Zero nerves.  It was the calmest I'd ever been before a trip, and the least I'd ever packed. I feel beautiful and natural. I am wearing no makeup, and am taking about five minutes to get dressed. I feel happy and safe. I am awash with gratitude at my ability to grow. I am proud of how my kids know they are all I need to be loving this vacation. I feel strong, fluid, and cared for by the universe. I trust myself, while knowing I will make many more mistakes.

As Rogue, one of my DJ friends told me ,"Mistakes are awesome. That's how we learn." She was talking about DJing but her thought impacted me deeply. I had always felt the need to be perfect. I feared error. Now I embrace it. As I look back on photos of myself at 20 and 30, I beam. I have never looked or felt better in my life. I have carved a place for myself in the world, and I'm not putting that chisel down ever. I have a renewed zest for life that I feel every day. I walk around each day thinking that today could be the day I meet Him. I am alive with possibility. It's enthralling. Perhaps the most important lesson I've learned is that He isn't revealing Himself to me until I strengthen my own vibration. The right kind of love, the stuff of fairy tales I'm certain exists, will find me at the right time. It will be delivered to me, no signature required, though I will be waiting calmly by the door. Not because I need it, because I want it. And because I want it, it will happen.  And you, dearest readers, will get one hell of a story. So this is 40, eh? Education, strength, inner peace, trust, love, hope, accomplishments, proof, wonder, excitement. I didn't have most of those things when I was younger. I have earned my happiness, and I will keep fighting for it, sometimes peacefully and sometimes with force. We are born every single day. January 19, 1978 was the day my soul met my body, but that's it. I celebrate myself each morning with new breath. The reason the start of this decade is so major for me, is that every dark tunnel I crawled through has led me to this place of light. The past is always over, no matter how good or bad it was. Key word; was. Key word; is. This, Friends, is Me. I just happen to be 40 at the moment... You have no fucking idea how amazing you are, Lady Blaga