As I brought in my birthday, surrounded by my closest friends I realized how wrong I was. I didn't just survive, I thrived. From the girl who didn't know how to write a cheque, I became the girl who now has fun with stocks. From the woman who felt all her dreams had turned to dust, I became the woman who pushed and fought to make my dreams come true, even if in a different way than I had imagined. And from a mother who felt resentful and tied down by her child, I became the mother who understood that her child makes her a better, happier person every day.
Was it easy? Hell no! The last five years have been the hardest of my life. I started out broke, unhealthy and unhappier than I had ever been. I spent a large chunk of the first few months getting drunk out of my wits and crying on the bathroom floor. I didn't know what the next day would bring. Would I ever earn enough to sustain my child and I? Did I have what it takes to be a mother, a good one? I was a broken human being. I just wanted to hide in a corner and ignore everything that came my way. And then, bit by bit hope started trickling in. People who were somewhat my friends came forward in unimaginable ways, offering unconditional support that I hadn't expected. I realized that if I wanted a healthy, happy child I was going to have to get my shit together and be the kickass role model he needed. And so I started to get my shit together. From shitty jobs, sleepless nights and complete cluelessness, I started heading towards something more meaningful in life.
The last five years have been hard and depressing and sometimes I've just wanted to quit. I've cried in the most unexpected places and moments. I have raged and screamed and asked why me a million times. But they have also been immensely rewarding and empowering. I have grown, as a woman, as a mother, as a friend. I have started discovering who I am, and I've started falling in love with who I am discovering. When people tell me that the good old college days were the best, I can't help but cringe and feel no. I loved that time, for the fun and the parties and the drunkenness. But this, this is the time I am loving the most. I am making my own decisions, decisions that take me closer to where and who I want to be. I am learning that life is rarely what you planned for, but the unplanned craziness that comes your way is just as good, if not better. And in these moments of finding myself, my voice, of being authentic, I am finding new ways of making my dreams come true.
So as I turn 35, I can't help but be full of love and gratitude for everyone who has come into my life. The support and love I have received from expected and totally unexpected quarters has been heartwarming. Never had I imagined that I would reach a place of such happiness in my life, professionally and personally. Thank you.