Courage to Provoke Change: Another Thirty-Something Birthday Proclamation

It is this woman in her thirties birthday week. Yup, in just 4 days I will be staring down the at some sort of pastry, lips puckered and breath held, right before blowing out way too many candles. And what will I wish for this year as the smoke drifts aloft? (Sigh…) Too many things.

It has been a wonderful and terrible year, as most memorable years are. I haven’t had time to process everything that has occurred. I have not relished in the moments of happiness, celebrated my successes or mourned the undisputed finality of endings. I have lived, and I guess that is not a bad feeling to be left with.

It’s funny because I want to have something wise and eloquent to proclaim; a nice neat wrap up of lessons learned this year but I have nothing. Well, I guess that is not completely true. I do have one realization of the past year: The problems, unfulfilled desires and insecurities that I had in my twenties, are the same ones I’ve had in my thirties. Anything that I have not addressed persists.

Like the old saying goes, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” Turning thirty did not automatically erase my problems or fix my life. In my thirties I have felt more empowered and more in control than ever before. I have developed focus and discipline and while I have become more conscious and aware of my inner self, whatever has not been addressed is still there, gnawing at me for some attention. These issues that have followed me around for a decade have become ingrained in my identity and are almost a source of comfort. I don’t think I am alone in this either because I have seen it in others. It is very easy to take solace in the consistency and predictability of one’s issues because the opposite of this, change and challenging what has become habit, is extremely difficult and frightening.

Perhaps my grand proclamation for this year will be that I intend to work on my courage so that I can confront my problems, pursue unfulfilled desires and challenge the insecurities that I have let become a part of me. 

By: W. Castellanos-Wolf


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