Getting Older Rocks! - Birthday Gratitude

39 years old... woohoo! I’m so grateful for the last 39 years that have been filled with so much love, joy and laughter. 

I attend Toastmasters (a public speaking group) and we’ve been talking a bit about the definition of success, something I’m always reassessing, and I think for me, at the age of 39, success is liking who I am. 

I grew up saying “ooooh she loves herself” as a negative reference to being egotistical, cocky or arrogant. I grew up with tall poppy syndrome (cutting down anyone who rises above the other flowers). 

I remember at the age of about 19, seeing a famous actor from Neighbors (a popular Aussie TV Soap) at a bar and pretending I didn’t know who he was so that he wouldn’t think he was “soooo good”...
A) He didn’t care...
B) I don’t think he thought he was that good anyway. 
It was just my own insecurity!  Joke was on me.

The truth is, that no flower is ever taller than another, there’s no hierarchy, unless you choose to believe there is, and I don’t. Arrogance is only when we think we are better than other people and we have an inflated sense of ego that doesn’t include our flaws. Really liking ourselves  means not comparing ourselves to other people, not thinking anyone is any better or worse than us, just simply liking ourselves as we are, including, and especially because of, our “flaws”. And I feel like I can say that now... 

When I look at myself in the mirror, I feel good about who I am. I’ve faced my “mistakes”, I apologize when I can and I continue to learn and grow from them and this makes me love myself more. And I think because of this, I'm able to love everybody else more too, warts and all. Sure, sometimes I don’t like my behavior, or other people‘s behavior, but behavior is separate to who we are. And I’m getting good at not beating myself up or taking it personally, but enjoying the process and laughing at myself...

I love getting older, I love feeling more and more comfortable in my skin every year, I'm grateful for all the challenges I’ve been through and the strength and wisdom that I've gained from them. I like my wrinkles and my scars - and in an image obsessed culture and a town like LA that’s not always easy! For me, life is about love (and laughter), and I feel good about the amount of love that I’ve received and that I‘ve shared and I’m excited to find more and more ways to spread the love. 

Some days I’m filled with so much love I can barely stand it, but some days sappiness makes me cringe. And I love both ends of the spectrum.  

Recently my beautiful friend Julie wrote me a letter and said: “We aren’t fools for believing in that kind of love. What if that love is possible, and we’re choosing not to ignite it? Isn’t that more foolish?”  Yes, I believe it is.


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