the printed thoughts of a woman on a journey towards awareness, truth, acceptance, clarity, and forgiveness...with some fun and fearlessness thrown in

Monday, November 7, 2011

my birthday wish

NOT my birthday cake!
I turned 40 almost 365 days ago.  It was 358 days ago, in fact.  And, while in some ways much has happened this year, most of the past year was dedicated to one still unaccomplished, unresolved, ever-stressful, increasingly painful thing....selling my house.  It was just a week before that 40th birthday when we were given the news that we would be transferred.  And it was on that 40th birthday that, with paint-flecked hands, I ate takeout Chinese and allowed myself to dream about the new life we would soon be embarking upon....the new house, the new job, the graduate school possibilities, the new friends and renewed friendships, the new adventures, and the new me.

So, now, as 41 quickly approaches, I can't help but lament the last year lost.  I am nowhere near as hopeful as I was a year ago.  Already facing a loss of around $50,000 on our house, I can't see how we can afford to sell it in this market.  I'm worried about finding a new job.  I don't know how we will afford the graduate school program.  I'm no longer confident about finding our dream home and being approved for a mortgage now that we likely will be coming without the down payment we had counted on.  I even begin to question my ability to settle into a new place again and to make new friendships.  I've actually been in Connecticut now for slightly longer than I was in Chattanooga, yet I don't feel like I've developed friendships here that come anywhere close to the friendships I have from my time in Tennessee.

Like New Year's resolutions, though, we get a new birthday wish every year.  I'm making mine early.  I think I'll make it every day until it comes true.  (I'm nothing if not persistent!)  I'll wish, and I'll hope.  I'll even once again start dreaming of all of the new things to come....both internally and externally.  And, they will come.  I am sure of this.  I must be.  There is no other option. 

They may not come packaged in the way that I once expected, but they will still be the gifts that I most need.  Even if I don't find the job of my dreams right away, I will find something that teaches me and helps me to develop new skills.  Or I will have the opportunity to work for myself.  Even if I can't afford school right away, I will research grants and loans and take advantage of the extra time to put money away in savings.  Even if we can't afford the dream home, we can still find a great home where we can make our dreams manifest through our own hard work and at our own pace.  And, even if I don't make new friends right away, I will still be within driving distance of my sister and many of my dearest friends for the first time.  I can't wait to be able to see these friends more regularly.

The most exciting prospect still remains the chance to reinvent myself in a way, to become the next incarnation of myself.  No delay in time will prevent that from taking place.  There is no expiration date on that opportunity.  With every move I have made, I have gained new perspective, new insights, and new inspiration on the world outside my front door and on the world under my own skin.  Within my changed environment, I am able to experience a metamorphosis of my psyche.  This is the event I look forward to most.  Having to wait for this, my gratification delayed, is the probably what bothers me most about this past year. 

Perhaps I wasn't ready yet?  Maybe there was something I needed from this year that will benefit me in the next?  Of course, identifying it may be difficult, but who says that I have to?  I'm sure that I'm learning patience.  I know that I've learned to appreciate abundance.  I've also experienced gratitude for the support that I do have in friends here.  I've also realized how important it is to listen to my gut and to stand up for myself.  I've gone out of my comfort zone in many ways, and I've actually been impressed with my ability to adapt and to persevere.  I didn't always have the skills that I've seen myself using.  I will be better prepared for my next step because of them.

Helping Nanny blow out her birthday candles.

So, here I go.  From now until it comes true, I will be closing my eyes, making my wish, and blowing out the candles. 


  1. Oh Shannon, in some ways my heart breaks for you and in other ways, I am so proud of you. It is so difficult to endure the waiting when it is time to move on. You made me reflect on all of the times in my life when I waited for something so important that I could not live in the present. As hard as this is for you, you seem to be holding on - just like an adult. I want the very best for you and I want your wait to be over so you can step into the next wonderful place in your life. just remember, where ever you are - you are a blessing to someone. I know, because I have been that someone who was blessed by your presence. I love you Cecilia

  2. You are amazing. Thank you for your bravery and honest open heart. Thank you for sharing.