An open letter to myself on my 40th Birthday
25 March 2023
I want you to know how proud I am of you today. You have grown into this strong, courageous, resilient, woman. And I don’t mean grown from a child to an adult. I mean grown over and over again as a person. You’ve had to adapt over and over again. You’ve had to grow and evolve time and time again. And you’ve succeeded. You’ve done it with humility and grace, and not once have you given up. Even when you really, really wanted to.
I know this isn’t where you expected your life to be at 40. But do you know what? It’s better. I don’t think you believed you could ever be this version of yourself. I don’t think you thought this would ever be a possibility for you.
You’ve always been told you are too much. And you started to believe this early on. You started to change yourself because of it. You started to hide parts of yourself because of it.
Which then led you off course. You started to believe the things you were told you ‘should be’ and ‘should do’, instead of just being who you actually were, and deep down you knew it was wrong. You lost the instinct to trust yourself. To trust you knew what was best for you. And by doing that, you lost who you were. You forgot who you were. Who you were born to be.
You got stuck within the many roles that were placed upon you. The more you tried to please everyone else, the less you felt confident in who you actually were. It was overwhelming and confusing trying to play so many roles and feeling like you weren’t really succeeding in any of them. That you were never doing anything right. That it was never enough.
You are an AMAZING Mum. That is a role that you have NEVER doubted about yourself. You were meant to be a Mum. And you were meant to be the Mum to those three delightful children you have been blessed with. You know that you will guide them and support them and advocate for them until they become the best versions of themselves. You never have, and never will doubt this. This is the only part of yourself, up until this point, that you wholeheartedly trust yourself with.
You’ve always had big dreams. Big ambitions. Ambitions that people would try to talk you out of. To be more practical. To be more serious. To focus on just one thing. To get your head out of the clouds. And every comment made, put a little bit more of your spark out. Your light dimmed. It knocked your confidence and your intuition. It made you believe, little bit by little, that you couldn’t do it. That you wouldn’t ever be able to do it. And it made you angry. Deep down it lit an angry fire within you. One that made you want to prove everyone wrong. A fire that slow burned for such a long time that when the time came to break out of the box that you had been put in for most of your life, the anger exploded out of you and it overcame you.
You are an Aries after all! A true fire sign. A charging Ram. When something builds up in you for so long it’s really hard to contain. The problem with this though, is that it can take over you. You can take it too far. Your passion can swing too far to one side of the pendulum, and it can be hard to recognise when it needs to be reigned in. This is where it can get you into trouble. Actually, not trouble. It can lead you to overidentify with your anger and feel like everyone and everything is against you and you need to prove them otherwise.
You have learnt over time, that this isn’t necessarily helpful. There really needs to be balance in everything you do. But when it feels like you’ve been pushed down and suppressed for so long, it’s hard not to want to let everything out. To use your voice the way you’ve always wanted to, but never felt you could. It can become a trap. One that you will probably fall into many more times throughout your life. But now you are aware of it. You embrace it and know when you need to tame it.
You live in extremes. You are all or nothing. Which sometimes is a good thing, but sometimes it doesn’t work in your favour. Again, you need balance. It’s a skill that is hard to learn, but is necessary moving forward in your life. Otherwise, you tend to stay stuck.
You learnt you had ADHD not that long ago, and that both turned your world upside down and made your life make so much more sense! Instead of feeling like something just wasn’t quite right with you, and you couldn’t quite figure out what, it made you understand yourself on a level you never thought was possible. It helped you to accept yourself and give yourself the love and support and reassurance for exactly who you are, that you hadn’t ever felt before.
Through this revelation, you found a passion that you believe in to your core, and you have vowed to make a difference in that space somehow. To help others navigate life. A life similar to yours. A life that you have experienced, and know that there is more to. Sooooooo much more to. And you will make a difference. I know you will. You have difficulty believing that you have the power and the gift to be able to do that. But your spark is reigniting. Your light is getting brighter.
Your biggest fear has always been that you would never be truly seen, understood or loved exactly as you are. One thing you truly want is to be in a partnership with someone who wants you for everything that you are…as you are. You just want to be seen, valued, safe and truly happy within that relationship. You fear this isn’t possible.
The road to overcoming this fear has been a bumpy one. You have experienced some absolute highs and devastating lows in this process. Your heart has taken a beating. Because you feel everything so deeply and so vulnerably, all of these experiences have overcome you, and you’ve been forced to really look into why they have impacted you so greatly.
This is where the best part of your growth has happened. You have started to really look within, and be brave enough to see parts of yourself that maybe you haven’t been willing to see before. You have seen the wounded inner child that lives inside you, and you’ve been able to comfort and heal her, the way you comfort and heal your own children.
You’ve been able to see where your strong, fiery and fighting spirit can work against you. You have seen where you give too much of yourself and where you need to allow yourself to receive more. You have seen how truly knowing yourself, understanding yourself, accepting yourself and loving yourself can turn your life around, and put you back on the right path, no matter how far you have strayed.
But most of all you have let yourself see, that it actually IS possible to be seen, understood, valued and loved for everything you are, EXACTLY as you are. There are people in your life that have given this to you in ways you hadn’t expected.
There are also people in your life that YOU make happy. That YOU make laugh. That YOU make feel seen or heard. That YOU value. That YOU make a difference in their life. That YOU love, and they love YOU in return.
Because on your 40th birthday, you realise that life is a gift. That life is made up of so many moments that lead you on so many different paths. But the thing that makes life so special and so precious, are the people. The people who have impacted you in such profound ways. The people who are still in your life and the people who aren’t.
It’s the people that stitch together the memories of your life. The memories that are held inside every cell of your body, that make you who you are. That make you want the next 40 years to continue to be filled with just as many moments, and just as many memories, with the people who are meant to be there with you.
So Happy 40th Birthday to you, and to me!
I’m proud of you.
I wish you all the joy, peace and love you deserve, now and always.