I just turned 35. For some reason, birthdays that land on a multiple of five hold significance to me. I’m not sure where that came from, but it’s a thing. I thought I would celebrate this birthday a lit differently, but when it came down to it, I just did not have the capacity to plan anything. I also did not feel comfortable putting that on anyone else. Truth is, I had a super sweet day and because two opposing feelings coexisting is a thing, I do feel somewhat disappointed.
I’m going to be vulnerable with you all for a sec… Words of affirmation make huge deposits into my love tank, and my birthday is often when I receive them. This year, I received one card. Well… one and a half…? I’ve been sitting with this disappointment trying to understand why it runs so deep. It low key grosses me out that I feel the need to be affirmed by others. As I’ve sat with it, the Holy Spirit in me says, “You are affirmed in Me! Let that be enough!”
I’ not going to sit here and have y’all thinking those words from the Holy Spirit washed away my desire for words of affirmation. They most certainly did not. Hahahaha!
In honoring myself, I am realizing the value of giving space to my feelings. Through therapy, I have encountered the little girl in me who has lived a lifetime of masking her feelings and mistrusting the reality of her experiences, which gas led me to be performative in my relationships. I have become really good at shoving down how I feel and what I want to make others feel comfortable. In some ways, I’d dare to say…to make myself feel comfortable. If others are happy with me, then I’m good. Right?
Did y’all listen to that podcast episode with Brene Brown and Viola Davis I suggested last week? Brene Brown described Viola Davis as “a woman who chooses to disappoint other before she betrays herself.” Apparently, this comment was based on a quote by Glennon Doyle:
Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.Glennon Doyle
Honestly, I’m not sure I fully agree with the quote, but it did cause me to pause for a second to think about my motives. A huge reason I got off Instagram this year is because I realized the words of affirmation I was receiving from people I never met were filling my love tank in a way that was not healthy nor realistic. I realized my motives for showing up on that platform were becoming blurred, and I needed to give myself the space necessary to grow out of that and into being able to love myself in a way to allowed me to show up more confidently on a platform I enjoy. So, today as I sit with these feelings and look ahead to the growth I still have yet to experience, I’m going to follow in the footsteps of my sister (in my head), Alex Elle, and make deliberate choice to “free myself and find myself in the reflection of my own eyes and not those of whom I am/was trying to force to see me.
I’ve reached the end here, and I feel like I was all over the place in my thoughts. Nonetheless, I am grateful for my birthday as a time of reflection and an opportunity to set new intentions for my new year. I see areas of growth and I see ways to pursue a stronger version of myself. I also see how much I’ve grown, and I am grateful for that as well. Life is a gift, and the blessing to see another day in and of itself is an affirmation that God has more for me/us to do here! If you’ve made it this far in the blog post, thank you! Thank you for being a part of the process. Be encouraged in yours!
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
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