no more birthday blues.

I turn 28 today. I still can’t believe it. In 2 short years I will wake up and my twenties will be behind me. I’ll be leaping into another decade. Another chapter of my life that will be full of possibility, surprise, potential, growth and who knows what else. But the truth? I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it.

I’m not the biggest fan of my birthday. First of all, any plans I ever have fall through. It’s irritating. I swear planning things out for my special day is a disaster waiting to happen. So most the time I don’t. But the worst part of today is mind always starts scanning my “by the time you’re (insert age)” check list to see if I have accomplished the goals I assured myself I’d have done by the time I turned whatever. And when item after item doesn’t get that little mental check of completion, it bothers me. Man does it bother me. “Where is my house and my husband? Why didn’t I do better with my money over the years? Shouldn’t I have a better job? Girl, you’re almost 30. What are you doing?!?!”.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some woe is me Debbie downer type of person. I completely understand that me accomplishing my goals is my responsibility. I believe in myself. But for whatever reason, I just find today an easy day to be hard on myself for not being all that I ever wanted to be by the time I planned on being it. Today is an easy day for me to beat myself up.

This past Sunday my pastor preached a sermon on gratefulness. What was most interesting about the sermon was that he gave us a list of 7 scientifically proven benefits of being grateful. Grateful people have better relationships, better physical health, and better mental health. There are a numerous amazing benefits of taking time to be thankful.

So before my birthday blues try to come steal my shine, I’m going to be grateful.  Forget my checklist of wrong. I’m going to do the normal cliché Thanksgiving week thing and give you a little list of things I am thankful for. And as a little extra birthday present to myself, I’m giving Kristen some props today.

1)      My savior. Y’all just don’t understand. People pick with me for being “extra” when I praise and worship. I am that girl who jumps, dances, shouts and cries pretty much every time. I can NOT help it. I am inconsistent and messy. I fall short so often (hints my birthday blues checklist). But His love for me is the most consistent thing I have ever experienced. Nothing stops it. Nothing changes it. I can yell and scream at God and he embraces me like nothing happened. He carries me. He strengthens me. And when I spent years wandering around lost and unhappy, it was the love of Jesus that pushed me forward. My heart is full of gratefulness.

2)      My son. This kid is crazy! But in an amazing way. He showed me what it’s like to be needed. He helped me grow-up. He’s full of an astounding amount of wisdom about the world for only being 8. He teaches me about life in ways I should probably be teaching him. Every mom says it I know, but Kameron is special. He is a world changer.

3)      My momma. That woman deserves an award for putting up with me. She is one of those mommas who will never give up on me. She listens to me whine. She cleans up my messes. Literally and figuratively. She is compassionate, and kind. She is my mother and my best friend, Last year, I spent my birthday sitting next to her in her hospital bed fighting for life. God saw fit she stick around. So I am thankful for more time with her. And forever thankful for having a woman I can look up to forever.

4)      My family. My dad, my sisters, my brother in law. I adore them. They are the have your back, deal with your crap and still love you the same kind of folks for sure. They believe in me. They fight with me. They fight for me. And my niece and nephews. They bring so much light ot my life. And they are Kameron’s very best friends. I’m aware not every family is as close as ours. I’m lucky and I won’t take it forgranted.

5)      My singleness. Y’all check back in on me about this one because some days I’m over it. This is for sure one of the things on my birthday blues checklist. But today I am going to look at the amazing things about my season of singles.  I’ve learned my happiness is my own and what I need to make myself happy. I’ve established my destiny and purpose as Kristen the individual. I’ve enjoyed so many bonding experiences with Kameron that may not have happened had I been married with a husband to tend to.

6)      The men who broke my heart. Keep up with my blog. I have some stories for you. But they forced me to find my value you and establish my worth. And because of them, I will never settle. Not ever.  Even if it prolongs number 5.

7)      My job. It’s been more than a source of income. God has used (and is still using) that place to work out some kinks.

8)      My friends. I am have lucked the heck out. I love ladies. I love the strength, encouragement and empowerment we give each other. And I have some amazing women in my circle. 2017 warrants a special shout out to Janae and Bekah. I love you forever.

9)      My Church. If you have been to Strong Tower, well you already know. If not, a place of genuine worship, spiritual guidance and unconditional love.

Time to toot my own horn for a minute.

10)   My spoken word. I’m good at it. It was a destiny and a calling I didn’t know I had until a few years ago. But it’s my gift. And I enjoy every second of it.

11)   This blog. I have always enjoyed writing. Also something I am well aware that I am talented at. So I am thankful for this outlet. I’m thankful for you readers. And I’m believing great things will happen here.

12)   My ability to forgive. Y’all have to understand why this is something to be thankful for. Ever met someone who walked around with copious amounts of unforegiveness. Those folks are no fun to be around. I have an amazing ability to forgive people. With the help of God of course.  But it has allowed me to deal with some people I couldn’t have otherwise.

13)   Sobriety. It’s no secret I used drugs in the past. But I made the decision to stop. I did that. And I have maintained that. If that isn’t an accomplishment to be proud of and thankful for I don’t know what is.

14)   Being a dream chaser. Seriously though think about what an awesome thing that is to be thankful for. I’m don’t do horoscopes but I read something about being a Sagittarius this year that rang true to me. It said I constantly have some new idea, some new thing I want to chase after. It’s true y’all. And sure many of them are just ideas, they fade away with the setting sun only for a new one to awaken the next morning. But it keeps me interesting, entertained and full of hope in endless possibilities.

15)   My sense of humor. Well, have you met me? I’m pretty hilarious. In all seriousness though. My ability to laugh and find humor in so much is something I’ve always loved about myself.

This is a short list. I promise if I take the time I could find a million things to be thankful for. But this year I will not get discouraged about all the things I “should” have at 28 and don’t. I’m going to hold onto this list and repeat it several times. I’m going to remind myself that I have a life full to the brim with love and support. I’m going to remind myself I am undoubtedly a rock star who is unstoppable.  I might not be able to able to cross off everything on my checklist sure, but shoot I’m doing pretty great. I And 28, yea it’s gonna be my YEAR y’all.  Just watch me.

So Happy Birthday to me. I sure am grateful.

-Kristen

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