I woke up this morning and thanked God for this 33rd year of my life. At this moment my mortality has been slapping me in the face. My friend lost a brother this weekend, he was only 32. So I am MOST grateful that I have lived to see my 33rd birthday.
As I lay in bed my phone rang and of course it was my Mom. As always she was the first person to wish me a happy birthday. I got ready for work and headed in and found on my desk a beautiful vase of roses, from a co-worker. She and her daughter picked them out for me, I was so very surprised. Then I logged into 360 and boy all the birthday messages are flowing, if I haven’t said thank you, I will there are just a lot of wishes coming into me at this moment.
My mom just came down and gave me a card and a piece of carrot cake. The card had me all teary eyed at work. Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about my life as I approach this birthday. I mean last year on my birthday it was the beginning of a very hard period for me; I struggled in finding my single self and what that really meant. I mean I had been part of a couple for a very long time. I mean I had gotten use to companionship and the novelty of being alone and single had started to wear off and 32 is when I really worked out what I think being single looks like for me.
I mean what I realize is that being single looks different from everyone. I mean we are all human and we are all unique and different in how we handle the same situations. There really is no magic pill, book, or person who can lead us to our own happiness. Happiness begins in you, and I know I blog a lot about men and women and relationships and random crap, but the reality is no matter what rules, books, or people you decide to follow for love, success, and happiness. All of those things begin in you. You have to love you. You have to see yourself as a success. You have to be happy with you.
That is what it really boils down to, being your friend. Before I turned 32 I thought I was happy with me. And I was, on a very superficial level. What unfolded for me at 32 made me stop regroup and do a few things. I began making myself spend alone time with me. I realized that I had become comfortable just being around others when I got uncomfortable in my aloneness (not so much loneliness…but that sometimes). I had never lived by myself so I never had to really learn to be comfortable by myself. I went from home, to school (4 roommates), to single life (1 roommate), to marriage (a husband), to divorce (NO ROOMMATE). Before I was divorced I was so grateful for alone time because it never came, there was never too much of it, because I had rarely had any in my entire adult life.
Then after I left my husband I would just fill my time up being busy with men, friends, work, and life. So alone time again was welcome. Then there were several events that lead me to force myself to be alone even when I didn’t want to. Man that is how you really make yourself grow. You face you when you don’t want to be around you. I really think that has helped me so much, because now I recognize when things are me. I see when I am being an azz and even with men, I tend to look at situations with them and know when it’s me, when it’s him, and when it is a little of both. I know that I won’t just be in a relationship because I am lonely or it demonstrates relationship qualities or because there is no reason for me not to be in one.
I will only be in a relationship if I can trust him with my heart (the most important thing) and I have learned that, takes much longer than I have ever really given a man. I mean I have trusted a few men with my heart and I don’t regret it, not because some didn’t hurt my heart, but because with each I learned what I did right to trust them and what I did wrong in trusting them. I also learned to love me TOTALLY.
I began to love me when I am sitting in the dark, alone, no pretense, and no show. That is when you look at all the things about you. The reason it is so hard to love you is because you know all the bad things about you, all the horrible things you say when no one is listening and think. I learned at 32 what I thought I already was doing. I learned to LOVE me, but not just the public facing me.
See that was the difference that was the piece that was missing for so long. I loved me, but I loved the Monique that everyone else saw, you know the loud, funny, smart, Monique, the Original Glamazon Monique, the on her grind Monique, the good friend Monique. I did not love the private Monique. The insecure about her looks Monique, the struggling with her weight Monique, and the looking for validation of love Monique. The summer of 32 made me face all of that. Made me look Monique, public and private, in her face and say you know what you are not perfect and you are not good, but you are not bad either. You are you and you are beautiful in all your imperfections, because those imperfections MAKE YOU YOU. That was my REAL ah ha moment. I am so glad I had it. I mean I thought I had it before, but now I know I really got it. Even when I may forget, it does comeback.
It has been a journey to 33 and there have been some very dark times during that journey, but at the same time I wouldn’t trade one tear. I am happy to say that where I am today is a better place than I was last year and I will try my best to be better next year than I was this year. If I can’t grow, then what am I living for.? Life is about learning and living and growing.
So to all who have wished me a Happy Birthday, thank you!! Thank you and I wish you guys the same peace, love, and serenity I feel in my heart at this moment. God, 33 is going to be a very good year for me. I can feel it!