Happy Birthday to me
I normally don’t celebrate my birthday, but this year I’m in awe.
I went through a hello on New Year’s Eve. All silver linings and rose-colored veils were removed to reveal the reality of my life without my eternal optimism. I saw that parts of my life were a prison I’d built for myself and knowingly stayed inside. I was made to stew in that realization until all corners of my psyche were faced. Even my intuition was challenged. Only then was I shown how to set myself free.
In hindsight, the night was gift - but while I was writhing on the ground screaming “Mercy!” in terror of the stifling prison-life I’d created, I remember thinking “I would rather have someone cut off my actual, physical limbs than continue the psychological torture I’m undergoing.” That’s the kind of gift it was.
In the days that followed, I realized it hadn’t been in vain. I wouldn’t - couldn’t - scrunch myself back into the box that was once my life. I’d been permanently expanded. Tectonic plates had shifted at my core. And after recoiling from the aftershocks, I surveyed the lands and set out to explore the new continent that had formed inside me.
What a way to start January. Another rotation around that sun. Though I’m tired of rotating around all the various suns in my life. I’m going to be a roving planet for a while. My center will be everywhere.
At the end of a chapter in my novel, a girl trades her soul with the soul belonging to a gigantic, snowy mountain. Maybe that’s what’s happening inside me. Mountains have always been my allies. How do mountains grow? All that shifting of the Earth’s crust and mantle. Dense rocks crumbling. There are times when a mountain remains the same height for dozens of millions of years - then, suddenly, desire shifts and lava flows and the mountain surges upward in rapid, unstoppable growth.
Perhaps all suns ultimately revolve around a cosmic mountain.
Last year, the darkness spoke: “Emptiness loves you too, dear girl.” This year, fullness is my love affair. I spent the first two weeks trotting around the Pacific North West in every forest I could find. I don’t know what I’m doing in this picture. Playing with leaves, I suppose. If it looks like I’m birthing something, I was probably becoming my own genie. I’d just found the torn dress in an antique shop moments before I ran into the woods. My beloved sister, Keri, snapped this shot of me wearing the magical headpiece she created.
I think I’ll move through this next year feeling the way I look in this picture - a little like a wild animal. A little bit naked. A little bit like a Queen. Amethyst and Antler protecting me. On the verge of a hard-earned ecstasy.
Despite all the uncertainties, and with much identity left to shed, I’ve never been so at peace, in love, and happy to be alive. I’ve never felt so graceful in spirit yet so at home with my feet on the Earth. I couldn’t have dreamed a more perfect life. It never stops humbling me. The friendships with my song-sisters, the snowy mountains, the trees, the way he looks into my eyes, love-filled galaxies…