I Once was 30: A Year in Review, pt. 1

Birthday in BedFriends, family, strangers, rejoice!  For today is my 31st birthday!

That’s how this would normally go, but life has recently gotten intense, deep and complicated, so my traditional months-long birthday excitement has been less about CELEBRATING! WITH EVERYONE! and more about reflecting, resting, and planning for the upcoming year.

As you may know by now, I am big on the Birthday Resolution.  I started setting these several years ago and have found it is a lovely way to create some intention and focus for the upcoming year.  I find this much more meaningful than New Years, although I have been known to take any excuse to plan and evaluate (as a Virgo, this is my birthright).  I love a good moon ritual, embrace the solstices, and enjoy any day off that I can dedicate to wardrobe editing, desire-mapping, or guided meditation.

Before I talk about my 31st Birthday Resolution, which I have been setting up for the past month or two, I want to take some time to review my 30th year on this Earth, which was enormous, full, scary, wonderful, and heavy.


AUGUST 31ST, 2015-FEBRUARY 28TH, 2015

August 2014: 30th Birthday Resolution: Become fiscally responsible!  This mostly involves creating a monthly budget, reviewing spending monthly, and trying to save some money.  More than keeping me on track so that I’m not getting (more) massively in debt, it has made me consider my wants and needs in life and ultimately has led me toward a minimalist path.  I’m taking baby steps, but this Resolution was smart, necessary, and has had far-reaching impacts in my life.

September 2014: My first job out of graduate school began in mid-August, so September was my first full month in my first office job as an arts administrator.  I moved back to Carrboro, to live with my friend Nureena, who is a lovely housemate, and my sweet cat Devo, 1 mile from my workplace and a few blocks from my sister, Jaimie.

October 2014: I discovered, committed to, and successfully followed a life-changing diet, which has been incredibly healing to my poor, injured gut; has eliminated by recurring back pain; given me more energy; and strengthened my confidence that I can commit and carry through big life changes.  When I finally went to see a gastroenterologist in December, she was so impressed with the results from this diet that she wanted to recommend it to her patients!  Big thanks to Jaimie for telling me about it (and my Dad for telling her, even though he doesn’t remember this).

November 2014: Started sewing!  I take social-sewing classes with the most badass women in town at Mulberry Silks.  I thought I’d make a skirt for Thanksgiving…but it’s clearly for Thanksgiving 2015, as I didn’t finish it until March!

December 2014: I started The Artist’s Way (and completed it 12 weeks later!).  This was also a life-altering event.  This book is mind-blowing.  It truly helped me get deeper into my own psyche, to rediscover my creativity, and to relax and embrace life and my inner child.  It got me more in tune with my Self and the world around me.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  I am amazed at how many goals I laid out (discovered, really) in my morning pages have actually happened!  I remember writing that I wanted to be a yoga teacher and a painter.  In December, I subbed my first yoga class since getting my certificate in 2012 and have been teaching regularly ever since.  I also did (most of) The Desire Map for New Years.

January 2015: I took an intuitive painting workshop this month let by my wonderful friend Heather Gerni, which really helped me to find an artistic voice I didn’t even know I had!  Heather is an excellent, nurturing teacher.  This way of painting is all about letting go of your expectations and letting the images arise naturally, painting with your intuition rather than your critical brain.  I absolutely love this and have kept it up all year.

February 2015: A friend and mentor gifted me with membership in the Soul Caller Training circles led by the lovely Amy Oscar.  I wrote a long email expressing my dissatisfaction (venting to my friends) with my job and how I felt unfulfilled and like there is so much MORE out there, creatively and spiritually, and at the very last minute I had an urge to send the email to an incredible woman I worked with in grad school, and she sent me the most amazing response and offered me this training.  It was a truly wonderful experience that helped me to be more in touch with my spirit guides (or, the Universe, God, angels, devis, the True Self, intuition, any other name you could possibly ascribe to this otherness that is also, fundamentally, You).

Coming up next time, March-now!  Isn’t this fun? So much has happened to me in the past year that it is difficult to remember it all–except that so much of it was significant.  I made lots of awesome new girlfriends, creative projects, and diet-modified dinners.  My spiritual world has expanded exponentially.  My cat is still the cutest thing in the universe.  And now, as it is my actual 31st birthday today, I will take a break and do…whatever  I want.  See you soon!


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