It’s been just over 4 months since I turned 30, and to be frank with you, until now, ‘age’ has never allowed me the opportunity to experience such a shift. A shift of perspective, of emotions, of thinking and of feeling. One thing’s for sure… I have gained weight! I don’t know that I like it and each day I keep saying to myself, “Annah do not exceed this point” but I am so happy inside that I’m allowing myself the time and the space to rediscover this new me. Yes, I have changed. A lot! And sometimes I find myself walking down old roads, with such similar paths and similar circumstances to life, and instead of reeling into a panic and an emotional frenzy, for the most part I laugh. I laugh either because I cannot believe that I used to lose sleep over certain things and also because it is now so clear that life’s blows were not always the issue… the issue was me. I was the train wreck, I was the mess, I was the one in need of so much more than expecting God to fix what I was not willing to lay down for Him. Repetitive cycles had so much more to do with my addiction to them and my fear of coming out of them to face the unknown. I couldn’t experience love not because I kept walking into people who broke my heart, I couldn’t receive it because I didn’t know how. I didn’t even know how to love ME. And I was busy about trying to love everybody else, trying to tend to everybody else’s hurts and pains, their wounds and their sorrows, all the while neglecting ME.
This space has in so many ways helped me to separate my own ‘sin’ from that of others. That is to say, I always felt that need to do right by everyone and to take ownership of their lack, their mistakes, their weaknesses… I did right by everyone except by myself. I carried everybody’s load except my own. And not one day did it make them love me more, it just made me feel less and less like I was worthy of love itself and of the desire to be loved.
Being 30, has forced me to reevaluate so much of my everyday norm, the systems I’d put in place for myself and the principles I’ve lived by. So much of how I have lived as an adult, and successfully so mind you, was based on safety and security… just as long as I didn’t have to step on anyone’s toes or upset people. I didn’t want people to “talk about me”… I only wanted them to forever praise me. I wanted people to like me.
So I did what was safe, lived my life apologetically, as if I was sorry to be who I am. And though that works for the while that is necessary, as long as you have that wanting to keep on growing, it does not last forever. It cannot. It cannot sustain the growing desperation you have to be free. It cannot carry you through the disappointment of living like you’re sorry, yet nobody is accepting your apology. It becomes as if nothing that you do even for people, will ever be enough.
So I broke. I broke down. I fell apart.
My bank of emotions became bankrupt and I was in deep debt towards myself. Have you ever felt like you’ve poured yourself dry into so many people, into their lives and situations, yet you couldn’t even find a well worthy for yourself? Instead of giving them what should have been the overflow of my heart, I’d been giving them what was meant for me. I’d been giving them what sat in the innermost part of me. And that had to change.
Being 30 has thus far been such a time of triumph and of jubilation. I understand myself in ways I am willing to always keep on learning, and in ways I have no fear of continuous evolution of my soul. I believe that being broken, and being in that state of absolute corruption and bankruptcy of my heart, has been one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had to evolve. Because through that pain, I evolved way past cycles I’d accepted as the norm, I evolved past relationships and people that could only thrive as long as I was broken. Most of all, I evolved past the former state of myself. Past that deep seated fear that there are things and situations, people and feelings that have the power to break me. I evolved past the deep seated fear that even though I can warrior through certain circumstances, there are specific ones designed to make me fall and to never get back up again. Simply because then, what I now know about myself, I did not. And certain things I kept rejecting instead of embracing, I would not.
Some of the things I love the most, and many of the things I desire the most, I believed I was not worthy of. So I used to push them away driven by the fear of taking a risk that could not guarantee me happiness. Based on the fear of being disappointed YET AGAIN. I rather ran away from the possibility of the beauty that could one day bud and blossom out of me and I could not accept that even the rain that forever poured served to help my current garden grow.
And so, at 30 I’m learning yet again, the importance of being graceful with myself. And of allowing that grace to overflow into the darker spaces of my life. I’m learning that “I’m sorry” is beautiful in the spaces of remorse that is genuine and that is true… it is ugly when it’s a constant excuse and apology for who you are. I am learning that my laughter is so beautiful and that my humour is so contagious, so everyday I spread it around like the disease that it can be. I need to dis-ease the comfort that pain has developed in settling in the lives of others. Yes, I had to go through what I had to go through, but unnecessary pain that forever binds is a thing I do not like, a state of being I do not desire to see in others. I am discovering that actually, I can dance. I could not, because the bars of my cage limited me before. And I am discovering that in so many ways, this is the beginning of true life. I feel as though everything prior, was mere preparation to what exists now. I’m living in the promise of my life, in the promise of love and laughter, of joy and freedom. I am living in the promise of carefree days that care so much more about what really matters. Because even with promises, come grand responsibilities, because grand responsibilities take ownership of expected problems. And that’s what makes it all the more worthwhile… that in the face of the beauty of life and promised problems, for the first time I am not intimidated and for the first time, I’m embracing it all.