This is a reflective piece that I wrote on August 7th, 2012, my 35th birthday. I’m finally feeling ready to share it.
There was a time during my early to mid 20s that I suffered with a recurring dream. In the dream I was chewing an oversized piece of gum. The wad of gum was so large and bulky I could barely chew it; it filled my mouth to the point that it prevented me from speaking. The gum was so painfully crammed in that I couldn’t even open my mouth wide enough to spit it out. I remember waking from those dreams with a sense of regret and remorse. What was a I doing with a piece of gum that large in my mouth and more importantly why didn’t I just simply reach in and take it out of my mouth?
I know a woman who recently for her 50-something birthday got the Hebrew word “voice” tattooed on the inside of her wrist, because she told me, as she held her arm up in the air showing me the dark inked-in word on her skin, “I didn’t have a voice when I was young, but I have one now.” I was left with chills. What a powerful statement.
Perhaps that’s what 35 is giving me, a voice. Perhaps, after living life a little more the lessons I’ve learned from being worn down and broken in by love have brought me the bravery I’ve needed to reach up and take that oversized piece of gum out of my mouth and really speak my heart.
(Cue Alanis song here…okay not really, but I just thought I would make the comparison before you did.)
Thank you life. Thank you age. Thank you struggles and heartbreak and victory. Thank you faith and floundering. Thank you disbelief and questioning. Thank you cynicism and hope. Thank you messed up emotions. Thank you burned down bridges. Thank you friends who held me to it. Thank you marriage. Thank you motherhood. Thank you brazenness. Thank you strength to choose gratitude. Thank you persistent spirit of love. Thank you forgiveness. Thank you anger. Thank you healing. Thank you mistakes and lessons. Thank you experience. Thank you unpaved roads. Thank you music and song. Thank you childbirth and rebirth. Thank you compassion. Thank you earth and sun and sky. Thank you voice that hovered over the waters of my soul and said let there be life.
May 35 bring life and more life. May I live abundantly with hope and perseverance, may I reach up and place my hand on the harp that I hung on the Willow. May 35 be a year of getting my groove back on.
May my voice speak with love, gratitude and wisdom. Thank you 35 for giving me a voice. I hope to use it.