Today is my birthday.
And I’m not the least bit ashamed to tell you I am 39.
My 38th year changed that for me, along with many other things. I don’t plan to get too philosophical, and after the year I’ve been through I am not in the best place to wax poetic about my experiences. Maybe in a year. Or ten. Not today.
I will, however, confirm that I am a different person. Through immense heartache, tumultuous times, and gut-wrenching betrayal…I learned a lot.
I learned about people. Trust that at one time I gave freely now needs to be earned. Not just with my heart, but also with my friendship, which is truly an extension of my heart. In crisis, what they say is true – you really find out who your friends are. The people who truly care about you rise to the surface and the ones who don’t…well, some of them will shock you and all of them will hurt you when your blinders come off. So, you shed those who disappoint and let you down, and you embrace those who love you whole-heartedly. At least that’s what I’ve had to do.
I also learned a lot about myself. I was pushed to the edge and now I know where my limits are and how much I can withstand. Two surprises came out of this which I believe are true of everyone:
1) I am much stronger than I originally thought and I can take on a lot of hurt and pain and disillusionment. Not always gracefully and certainly not ever easily, but when I look back and see how much I actually had to crawl through…well, I am still in disbelief.
2) The strength loaned to me by my family and friends, coupled with this inner strength I didn’t even know I had, also carried me beyond the hurt into this new place. I don’t exactly know where this new place is, I only know it’s better than where I’ve been.