I am 37 years old today. My 30s have been the gift (that keeps giving) of unending self exploration, visioning and casting life’s net in new ways. I sometimes say if life had been otherwise, I’d have done this in the last decade of my life. But I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that this journey has come at the right time for me. I wouldn’t have been this ready to absorb it all, this willing and available in my 20s. Life has a way of working out and so, I want to mark this day by listing down some things I learnt this past year.

This is the year I turned an important corner in doing the hard, important work of witnessing myself. I turned the corner and I found ease, lightness and joy, even as I sank to the depths.

This is the year I held myself through so many ups and downs. And in scraping the lows of my own darkness, my wounds, my healing, I found the strength to hold space for others to do the same.

This is the year I really embodied the idea that I am loved, cared for, supported and uniquely, inperfectly perfect. Not because of what I am good for, how useful I am, what purpose I serve of how. But because, I just simply am.

This is the year I witnessed the touch of pure love. Many times over, with people already in my life and some new, it came at me like a gusty, powerful exhale of a breath held tight within me for decades. To let that breath go, and allow myself to be witnessed as I am. That felt like love. And I was lucky to feel it many, many times over.

This year, partly by my conscious doing and partly through the alchemical space that is healing, Itasted a tiny smidgen of what it is to truly be committed to paying deep attention, and to hold what I see in a soft place of love, without judgement.

This is the year, I really looked att he shadow side of the two points above. I noticed in myself the capacity to do and be things and ways I dislike about others. I witnessed evil in myself. I held space for it. I confronted and got comfortable with not being liked, possibly ever, by some people I’ve held out for, waiting for love.

This past year hurt like hell. A lot. But this past year also set me so goddamn free.

Past birthdays: one year ago, two years ago, three year ago, five years ago, six years ago, seven years ago, eight years ago, nine years ago, ten years ago, eleven years ago.

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