I just ordered 2 crepes to be delivered to my place in 60-75 minutes. That's definitely a San Diego thing, in New York it would be 20-35 minutes and I'd still be complaining that it's taking too long for the food to get into my mouth. I only wanted 1 crepe but I had to reach the delivery min so I got a savory and a sweet one. It's alright.
Tonight's the last night I'm 30 so I can eat 2 crepes if I want. Tomorrow starts a year long journey of 10,000 steps a day that I've challenged myself to. I hope I lose 10 pounds. Also being healthier, you know. Thinking back to the night before I turned 30 I can't even remember what I did. Things are blurry in my memory as usual but I know myself pretty well and I know 1 year ago Jen super well, so I'm pretty sure she was feeling like this but a little bit worse. Birthdays have always been so hard for me. Let's start at the beginning.
I lived largely in my own head for my first 14 or so years of life. In middle school I would read at breaks. It's not that I felt like the characters were my friends, like I often hear people say, but for me I didn't need friends because I could get completely lost in the stories. My best friend was my English teacher, Mr. Pfeiler. He totally got me. He was the first person to tell me, at age 12, that I was an old soul. That wasn't the last time I'd hear it. Looking back I was the epitome of angst. So moody and emotional and everything was the end of the world. I was taught pretty early on that this was a character defect. That emotional = weak. "Suck it up" comes to mind. "Get over it." So I hid my emotions inside. Except that doesn't work. I felt so utterly alone, and this was before it was okay, at least in my world, to talk about things that were going on inside me like loneliness and a great fear of everything. I was expected to get over it. Whatever it was. I wasn't a happy adolescent. I was lonely and I was very depressed. And I had been that way for as long as I remembered. "To feel alone is to be alone. That's what it is." (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, one of my favorite books by Jonathan Safron Foer).
When I had my first real break up with Erik von Detten a age 15 and a half I actually wanted to die. I didn't think I would ever get over it. How could he leave me, he said we were going to be together forever!? I actually wrote a "book" about our future reconciliation as adults. It was awful.
I wanted to be a grown up so badly. I fantasized about having my own place and having grown up friends who understood me. All I've ever wanted was for someone to understand me. I wonder, pointlessly, what it would be like for someone like me to have grown up in a time like the present. Would I be encouraged to meditate and breathe when I was anxious and depressed? Because that would have been really helpful. Would my sensitivity and emotional depth not have been looked at as a weakness? It's taken me most of my life to accept and appreciate myself for who I am and to realize that I'm not weak. I am who I am. I am strong as fuck. I can endure. I have endured. My empathy, sympathy, ability to love greatly and without limits are not a weakness but are in fact my super powers. It was a dense and difficult journey for me to realize that but once I did my world expanded and became limitless. I have to remind myself of that limitlessness daily otherwise I get stuck in my own head and things become so small and impossible to deal with.
I've lived a lot of life. I realized that's an ambiguous way to really say nothing, but there's a lot I'm saving for my book. Which will not be ghostwritten, but written painstakingly by my own hand, likely over several years and preferably in a cabin in Maine as well as in buses and on trains and planes all over the world. I digress. I've lived a lot of life. And in a way I feel as though I've just started. Why am I writing like an 89 year old woman who's about to lay in bed for the eternal sleep? I have no idea.
This year I had surgery and my body was broken open and sewn back together again. I had to stay still to heal and that was a challenge. The lesson of patience is given to me over and over again. It doesn't leave you until you learn it. I can still taste the pain in my mouth like the memory of a rotten egg. During those dark hours I learned that the person I was with wasn't right for me. It's times like those that these things become clear. But my eyes were closed and it took me many more months to realize he wasn't for me. Patience. As I healed I started a little project made from love and it turned into a business. But it's not happening fast enough, I'm not good enough at knowing everything right away. Patience.
Some days I sit in meditation and I feel so happy that my lips can't help but turn up in elation. I feel the sea air on my face and my puppy dog snuggles at my feet and I get to lead people in helping others and my community is loving and supportive of my mission and I am happy. But triggers come up. It's my birthday. I've always hated my birthday. Friends voices come into my head, my own voice comes into my head..."let's reframe it. 'I love my birthday.'" Sometimes I just simply cannot, and I sink back down into college Jen where Cat Power and Elliot Smith are the soundtrack and I dreamed of running away from everything. I did run away, and when I got to where I ran I eventually got the itch to leave there too.
A couple days ago, for the first time in about 7 years, I had the urge to get in my car and keep driving. When my depression became too much to bear in 11th grade and I stopped caring about wearing make up and came to school in the sweatshirt I had slept in I used to cut school and drive. I eventually graduated early because high school was easy and I have a genius IQ. I'd usually drive the long winding back roads from Escondido to Del Mar and end at Fletcher Cove, my favorite place. I felt empty. I felt like a void. The ocean seemed like a good place to be to sit with that. I'm grateful I'm not in that place anymore and I've worked really hard to get where I am today. There's fear that I'm going to sink back into that place. It pops up every once in a while like those gophers in the arcade game that you have to hit with that big thing and shove back down quick enough and if you don't you lose. The difference is that now I don't let fear run my life. It creeps in and there's always a choice, in every moment, to choose love over fear. To recognize and say no to the tiny mad idea. To say no to the ego.
Today I choose to live my life completely authentically. I think, before I do something, "Is that really authentic?", and if it's not I have to choose the other thing. It definitely doesn't always work out the way I want it to. Sometimes I completely speak my truth and declare what's in my heart and it absolutely doesn't go how I want it to. But the point is not to have everything go the way I want it to. I'd like to think I'm wise enough to know that I don't always know what's best. Trust. Patience. But if I show up to my life as my authentic self I'll never have regrets. I may get hurt but I'll never wonder what would have happened if only I'd done or said what I felt. It's scary. But I choose not to let fear dictate what I do. So ok, I'm emotional. I'm sensitive. These are not bad things. I feel it all, man, and that's ok with me because like it or not that's who I am. So I'm gonna like it.
I'm a big dork. I like to read and drink tea and stay in my yoga pants all day even if I'm not going to do yoga. I like to be on my couch and I like to be barefoot and I don't like to shower every day and I don't like to go out to clubs because I feel socially awkward and I just wanna hang out one on one with people I love and also in groups of people I love and do simple things like hike and eat food and exciting things like travel and sing karaoke really badly. I value real connection among everything else. I like to cuddle. I want to be with someone, but not just anyone, someone absolutely fucking incredible. Someone who supports me and my vision for my best life and for the world and someone who makes me want to be a better person. So I commit to dating only men who fit that description. I know what a phenomenal partner I am and I will accept nothing less in a man. This is the year that I find him. I think he might already be in my life, but hey, I don't know what I don't know and I admit that.
I want to learn more, I miss school. I miss my involvement in politics and my love of it but I got to a point where it felt so ineffectual to care. All the lines have blurred together and no one is really making a difference the way they should. So I decided to take matters into my own hands, at least in my own corner of the world. And everywhere I go I hope to spread love like golden pixie dust behind me. Or maybe like wildfire of high vibration. I want to travel more, I miss what it feels like to see things and meet people for the first time. I want to spend more time connecting with people and having real conversations. I want to spend more time on my balcony at sunset with a bottle of wine and this incredible person I'm manifesting. I want to grow my business and expand country wide and help millions and millions of the people who need it most. And I want to make enough money so that if I break my phone and have to pay to get it fixed I can still afford groceries. Okay? I want all of this. And I'm going to get it. And if you want to be a part of my journey and want me to be a part of yours that's awesome. What do you want? We can create our dreams together. We can do it by embracing exactly who we are. Who are you?