Monday, September 29, 2008

and now, back to me

maybe you've heard this already, but it was my birthday last week! six days ago, to be exact, and since a whole week hasn't passed yet, i feel like it is still totally appropriate to talk about it. not to mention that, since this is my blog after all, it's actually appropriate for me to talk about whatever i want. so. take that.

anyway, back to me, talking about myself.

the night before my recent birthday (which was exactly one week ago today. to be exact. exactly), i had a celebratory (as in celebrating me!) dinner with these girls. who are my girls. my peeps. my favorites. my sisters. my urban family. my laugh and cries. my in good times and bad. my bests. (we missed you, jen!)

we went to the melting pot and stuffed ourselves with delicious fondues and even better company (though if everyone in the world came with a swirl of peanut butter, how much better would this world be?). as per my favorite birthday tradition, everyone at the table shared one of their favorite things about me. (for the record, and lest you think i am a total narcissist, this is my favorite birthday tradition on other people's birthdays, too. not just my own. but, we are talking about me right now, aren't we? so let's get back to it.) i left dinner feeling loved and appreciated and warm and grateful for my life and the people who make it up.

then, as per kjones' favorite birthday tradition, i had to tell everyone at the table one thing i learned in the past year, and one goal for the next year. to be perfectly frank, i have been pretty crappy about the making and keeping of goals lately, so it was a good chance to think of something. and putting it out in the ether of the interweb seems like as good a way as any to hold myself at least somewhat accountable. so, here you go.

first, what i learned. you may or may not know this, but my strong instinct for self-preservation extends beyond a concern for my physical well-being. despite a general love of people, and what might be termed an outgoing personality, when it comes to matters of emotion i often lean towards protecting myself rather than saying what i mean, or how i feel. the instinct to insulate myself from potential emotional harm is high. but in the past year of my life i have learned that protecting myself doesn't actually always make me feel better. there are times, i learned, when putting myself directly in the line of fire, in the eye of the hurricane, on the front lines, in the trenches of emotional honesty and vulnerability, makes me feel safer in the end.

and now, my goal. several months ago our bishop gave a talk about the process by which people become experts that has stuck with me in a big way. people who become experts, he said, are people who come to the edge of their knowledge or understanding or comfort, and find a way through to the other side. everyone else, he said, gets to the edge and stays there, eventually retreating instead of pushing through. in some areas of my life, i feel like i have been chilling at the edge for a while. i don't feel as though i've been retreating, that my knowledge or understanding or skill in any one area of my life has been shrinking, but i do feel like it is time to get down to business and do some pushing of my own. in other words, i am ready to see the other side, and i am ready to work for it, too.

i have a pretty good feeling about this being 27 thing.


Em said...

I'm glad to see this night documented along with the "party" crap... good job lady. And yes, i exhort you to kick 27's ass.

Unknown said...

wellll...since I wasn't as any of your birthday party shindigs, I suppose I must confine myself to commenting about my favorite thing about you on your blog where the whole world can see. Frances, my most favorite thing about you is your energy and that there isn't a mountain that you can't conquer! you can interpret that "mountain" word to be symbolic as well as literal. Ya just gotta love that about you!