I’m 36 now. A decade ago I celebrated my birthday in a hotel in Tulsa with my boyfriend and our friends. I cried because I felt like I didn’t have my life together.
I cried because I thought I should have my life planned out at 26.
How’s this for plans, 26-year-old Shannon? Ten years later, you’re back in college, three kids, one lives in an urn in your bedroom, and that dude you cried to in the hotel room ten years ago now lives around the corner in an apartment and shares custody with your kids.
Who’s crying now?
I don’t think it’s about my failed plans this time. I can go into a lengthy conversation about how nothing goes fully to plan; nobody hates plans as much as I do. Plans don’t work over here. They can be listed and go in the complete opposite direction. Screw plans. That’s why I don’t care when people don’t necessarily ‘have their shit together.’ It’s not the easiest thing to do, and how am I gonna judge a person’s life when mine isn’t perfect? It doesn’t matter how much ‘shit’ you have together for you, it’s YOUR shit, not someone else’s shit. I think the only reason to talk about a person not having their life perfect is to feel better about your own dumpster fire of a life.
Now excuse me as I pour buckets of water on top of mine in an attempt to not spread the flames.
My heart is in in the worst place it’s ever been. It’s so broken for so many reasons. I put the largest chunk of the blame on myself for not having the willpower or strength to protect it properly. I am very aware of my strength, especially now. I tell myself, imagine what you could be if you turned it inward, built the brickhouse back to its original splendor. Whenever that was. It’s easier to protect other things than myself.
I’m hard to protect; honestly I don’t think anyone actually could. I dare you though.
I’m more protective of my Macbook, it’s embarrassing.
So my gift to myself this year, for 36 is protection.
Something no one else can give me, something no one else is equipped to give me; not at least at this strength. Something I need desperately. I feel like I spend so much time protecting everyone else, trying to understand everyone else, making sure my heart is open and ready for everyone who receives less than what I feel they deserve. I never want people to feel as empty as I feel sometimes. I can handle it; I know most can’t.
I share my strength and power and protection with so many that I have none left for myself. I feel like I stand in the front lines taking punches, some holding me up, taking hits with me or even throwing a punch or two themselves, but of course, some of the closest cower and disappear when blood starts splashing. Then ask me to clean it up for you.
The good thing about having a birthmas is that you get to make a change that coincides with the new year. New year, new age, new you.
Not necessarily new me.
Stronger, smarter, armored me.
Weird, now I’m scared.