KNOW THYSELF: Birthday Lessons & My Script For 31

So, this past Saturday was my birthday, and I'm still basking in the glow. There's something about marking the day of your birth, starting a new revolution around the sun, and having the opportunity to celebrate your own personal New Year's Day that tickles me to no end. Now, I know not everyone feels similarly - but for me, the period of quiet reflection and delicious anticipation around my birthday is like no other. People close to me - like my cousin Mike who shared the same birthday - no longer have the privilege of blowing out birthday candles, so I embrace every year. 

While I simply planned a group dinner at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen followed by a Teedra Moses concert to celebrate, HomieLuva whisked me out of the house bright and early at 9am for a surprise photo shoot with Lawrence Kerr Photography and spa visit at Toronto's Rhythm Spa.

The ambiance-setting entrance to Lawrence's studio


A candid sneak-peek shot by HomieLuva


I got me some DELICIOUS cupcakes courtesy of Studio Cakes Bakery!


I loved all the services I received...but my massage was heavenly.


Had to rock Afrobella's exclusive "All My Purple Life" MAC lipglass for the occasion!


I LOVE me some Teedra!




Little Magician got some Teedra love too!


The Facebook status I wrote the morning of my birthday read:

Hello, 31: that curious point in life where - if you're blessed - you not only feel like you've lived a full lifetime already, but you also feel like you're just getting started. I'm blessed.

And I truly mean that sh*t.

At different points during Saturday, I felt three things: loved, free, and capable. I feel like I'm at a point where I have a good handle on how I express love and how I expect love to be expressed towards me. I feel like I'm at a point where - though new, huge responsibilities are coming - I possess a sense of freedom that I've never had before. I feel like I'm at a point where I believe in my capabilities - I no longer feel like I'm constantly 'faking it til I make it' with self-assuredness, but I'm beginning to believe the narrative I've created for myself that I am a woman capable of achieving the things I desire. With life about to change in some of the most monumental ways you could imagine, I know that I'm caught up in the flux of life - but at least on May 10, 2014, I felt like I had a good foundation to weather the storm.

31 is going to undoubtedly be an exciting year. I'm going to be a mom. I'm going to be a homeowner. I'm going to be pseudo-funemployed while I take time off for mat leave. I'm going to grow into a better writer. I'm going to expand my media work. I'm going to love up my husband. I'm going to strengthen family (blood and chosen) ties. I'm going to laugh more. I'm going to learn more. I'm going to remember how the risks I took last year paid off, then take some more. 30 felt like the beginning of a new act in the play of life, and I'm excited to co-write the script for 31 with the help of the higher power I believe in.

It's such a good feeling to know yourself. While I also know that things can and will change, I feel comforted that I can finally look in the mirror and say that I know myself. No more trying on identities to see what fits, and more time acknowledging and accepting the fact that I may not always fit. No more seeking security in jobs or relationships, and more time discovering it by becoming secure in myself. I'm still a work in progress, and I'm constantly learning how to catch or dodge the curveballs life throws, but hey - this "getting older" thing ain't so bad if you spin it right.

I'm ready, 31. Let's go.

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