Yes that’s me in the picture. I wanted to greet you with a warm smile!
For the past few days, I’ve been laughing at myself for indulging in the thought that something “must” happen when I’ll turn 40. It seems to be such a big deal for people around me, that I started to make a big deal out of it.
But by doing that, it uncovered a profound anxiety. I don’t really like to “party” for my birthday. Like inviting a bunch of people and party. I always thought that it was ridicule to party with people I meet only at my birthday. I have a few friends, but I don’t really hang out with people. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like people or I’m not happy to see them, it’s just that I always thought that special moments must be spent with the people who are special to you.
The other thing… I look so young. I have to deal with comments about how young I look and how old are my kids, almost everyday. I’m used to it. But I thought, you know, that turning 40, I would gain an aura of wisdom, that will show people, that I’m a grown up, so we wouldn’t have to go through the whole : “It’s your son? Oh, I thought you were his age!” or “What do you do? Still in school? What’s you major?” or the best one : “You’re so young. You know life’s a bitch. Wait a few more years, a bit more experiences in life…”. Maybe, magically, at 40, I would feel different and knew deep down, that I was now a “real” adult.
Yes this post is totally self-centered. Today is my birthday. And I know that I am loved. But the irony is that, I will receive hundreds of messages on my Facebook page, people at work will come by my office to chitchat about what 40 is or is not, but the phone will never ring. And it’s the total expression of what I do with my life. I keep people at a distance. In a moment, I can create profound intimacy, so people can talk and share, but I will not share myself.
It’s no accident that I don’t like to celebrate my birthday… It’s a reminder that I feel alone… that I don’t trust and that I am afraid. Who would think that, when they see me? Every morning I look at myself in the mirror and I choose. I choose between being my self that is afraid and angry or be my self that is loving and joyful. And sometimes during the day, I have to choose again. I am still hidden under my bed or the closet, waiting for the storm to past, so I can play again after. But I invented games that could be played only alone so I didn’t really need to come out.
Now for the next 40 years, I am choosing to be totally free from resentment and fear. I choose to open and share myself. I give up the thought that I am alone and I’m looking for playmates to invent new games.
Yes, I give up the thought that I am alone and acknowledge the people who are around me, not fooled by my smoke screens, generous enough to give me some space to be and loving me the way I am.
With great respect and love!