It’s my birthday!
Actually, tomorrow is my birthday, but for the sake of this post, let’s just say it’s today!
I didn’t write a birthday post last year, but it was a pretty significant year—my Jesus year. No, it’s not a religious thing at all, it’s just that Jesus was murdered and turned the whole thing on its head when he was 33, so I believe there is a certain power in being that age.
My primary goal or focus for my Jesus year was to get some clarity—Jesus clearly knew what His purpose was, and He fulfilled it all at that relatively tender age. I knew I wouldn’t stumble upon my purpose and completely fulfill it, but I wanted some hint and to get the ball rolling in that direction.
I found that life tends to roll you in the directions you need to go in.
About a month after my birthday, I was invited to join the board of VONA, an organization that holds a special place in my heart as my first summer writing workshop, but is also a safe space for me and numerous writers of color. I knew it would be challenging, but I didn’t know how challenging or what kind of challenges. I’ve learned so much about how to maintain an organization’s finances as a part-time CFO and I gained a new confidence in my abilities. I joined a team after working in solitude for over two years. I had structured tasks that had to be completed by a certain time. Basically, I had a job; a volunteer one, but a job none the less.
Over the fall and winter, my spouse and I discussed the career ruts we’d found ourselves in. I wasn’t happy writing exclusively once the first draft of my memoir was done, and doing so much work for VONA made me see how much I missed doing right-brain work. My spouse wanted a new challenge and to have some clarity on his mobility. So, we started seeing a life coach. As woo-woo as the process was, it was helpful to clear the cobwebs: I could finally admit to myself and others what I wanted—to work with women and people of color who were starting their own private investment funds. So, I started my own business, from stinking scratch. My spouse got a new job as a partner at a law firm.
This summer, during my residency at Banff, I learned that I was essentially done with my memoir. Not just done with a draft, but done with the whole thing until an agent or editor tells me otherwise. What a relief.
So, you might say, in my Jesus year, I did stumble upon my purpose and at least start fulfilling it.
On my birthday, I’m usually filled with a combination of excitement and a tiny bit of fear: excitement because it’s a new year and a whole host of things to mature me even further are about to come, but that’s also what makes me a little afraid.
But if there’s anything my Jesus year taught me, it’s that clearing away the fears helps you move forward into a more honest, and happier, version of yourself. That’s all I can ask for.