When I first conceived of Birthday Month a year ago, I thought it would be simply a celebration of a milestone done in the excessive way I sometimes like to do things. A year later, I find myself at a very different place in life than I expected to be. It’s tempting to curl up into a ball and let the month I turn 30 pass me by. But instead, I’m keeping my commitment to myself. I’m celebrating not just myself but the uncertainty of transition and the possibility that lies on the other side. Every weekend this month, I’m finding ways to practice joy and people to do it with.
Here’s how to start turning 30…
Surround yourself with friends and mentors, remember where you came from and what you helped to build, and allow yourself to be recognized and appreciated.
Help a beautiful couple celebrate the joy of marriage.
Teach a rockin’ Adventure Vinyasa class to a room full of inspirational yogis.
After my last blog post, I was flooded with love and support. Much more than I expected. Here are just a few of the extraordinarily kind words people shared with me…
“You’re a remarkable and lovable young woman who will receive care, respect, friendship, and partnership beyond your imaginings. Karma, yes, but also just common sense and the ultimate direction of the universe. Take it from divorced-at-28 and know that we’ll enjoy seeing it all unfold. Blessings upon both you and Luke; congratulate yourselves for doing the hard work of engaging the messy business of happiness and for having the courage to take difficult steps…”
“…you are a brave, beautiful woman!”
“I read your blog post. I’m so so sorry for this transition even though I know it will lead to amazing new things in your life… I have been through divorce as well… Love love love.”
“I went through a divorce when I was your age. You are so SO much further along on your path of self awareness and consciousness than I was at your age. I know it’s hard to see now, but things are unfolding for you as they should. You have many wonderful years ahead. You are loved.”
“I just saw your recent blog post and I want to let you know that I think you are amazing. Your willingness to share your heart and be vulnerable at such a difficult time is truly astonishing. But I learned a long time ago… that you are a strong woman. Strong enough to stand firm when time is tough and decide that you will pull through…”
“Melissa, I’m getting divorced too…”
“What a courageous and touching blog, this morning! It took me back to when I was in the same place; brought back the pain and uncertainty. Looking back, it was a courageous act, as well. And I’m grateful that I followed my truth, as I knew it, and moved forward for both of us… It’s allowed me to grow and learn and to remember what it was like to be “me” before the world changed me… I just wanted to express my admiration for your strength; and I look forward to seeing all of the amazing things that your life brings…along with the pain, that accompanies growth of the heart.”
“Dear Melissa, I think a lot of you and hate to hear you are in a rough patch. Hang in there. I, too, had a divorce in my early life, which nearly killed me, but once I got on the other side, my life became wonderful, and I’ve been happily married now for 32 years… I see you as a really smart, caring, capable woman. You’ll be fine. It just takes some time.”
“You are incredibly brave to put it all out there while it’s so fresh.”
“Love you. Let me know if you need someone to talk it out with.”
“Hugs, sweet girl. Marriage is freaking hard, I know!! Let me know if you want to have coffee or something when I get back. Much, much love to you!!!”
“Sending good and loving thoughts your way.”
“You are always an inspiration Melissa. I called you when I was in a difficult place and wanted the perspective of someone I trusted and admired. I might not be a sage, but my phone is always on. Every situation is different, but I think that some of the things that we think and feel and decide not to feel and try not to think are pretty similar for everyone. Good luck with your process. I will be sending warm thoughts your way.”
“You are so brave. I love you & always have a listening ear if you need it.”
“I love you a whole lot!!”
“Beautiful albeit heavy words. Heart broken for you. You are strong, Melissa. I’ve always thought so.”
“Prayers of peace, gentle passage of time, and healing to you.”
“My prayers are with you both.”
“You are loved! Dearly!”
“You are a strong person. You will get through this. Time will heal a broken heart. Praying for you.”
“It takes unbelievable strength and courage for both of you to have come to this decision. I know it’s going to hurt for a long time and my heart goes out to you guys. You are surrounded by people that love you dearly, and we’re here whenever needed.”
“You are loved.”
“You have more strength than most people I know. I am very sorry that you’re going through this, but am confident you will make it through ok.”
“I’m so proud of you and think you’re so strong & inspiring.”
“Thinking of you, Melissa. You have a courageous way of moving through life.”
“Thinking of you. You have always been a strong person so I know you will get through this.”
“What a hurtful and beautiful blog! I am thinking of you…I would be worried, if I did not know you…Will all be wonderful!…soon!”
“Thinking of you and sending peace and love.”
“Melissa -so brave & beautiful (and sad too) all parts of the experience are sacred and valuable (which doesn’t make it suck less) We became fast friends through yoga & met you at a time when I cried through most every shavasana & you taught me important lessons in self acceptance and sitting with sadness… And now you’re revisiting these life lessons of patience through the intensity of life -practice radical acceptance of all that comes up for you …. I’m sending lots of love and healing your way.”
“I just read your blog and wanted to send you lots of love and light. [My husband] and I are also going through a divorce…”
“I admire how insightful and calming your presence is. You have a grace about you that is truly beautiful. Even when you don’t feel strong, it is clear to those around you that your inner strength is true and unwavering. I just wanted you to know… If ever you need a friend through your transitions, I have walked a similar path and would be glad to help.”
“I am also believing all of those beautiful promises for you: That you ARE strong, that you CAN fall on your face and yet keep going, that this too WILL pass. Your class was such a place of comfort and safety for me when I was suffering from a broken heart, depression and all of the peripheral emotions that tend to rise to the surface in hard times… I hope you know I’m sincere when I say that I’m here if you ever need to just get out and sit for a little while…”
“What you have written so beautifully and honestly is a gift of hope and a promise of healing for anyone experiencing the kind of loss you are experiencing. Thank you for trusting yourself, trusting the process, and trusting those of us who care deeply for you.”
So this is what I’ve heard over and over again: You are strong, you are loved, and you are not alone. I’m listening, Universe, to the messages you’re giving me through the angels in my life. I hear you. And even though it’s a hard thing to take in, I am trying to believe.