Two months from tomorrow is my 40th birthday.
Where does the time go? Just two months ago I was packing for the beach and six months ago it was the beginning of spring. I’ve set the intention all year-long to cross things off of my list before turning 40 in November. Some of my most epic highlights were zip lining and learning to surf in Costa Rica, which all happened within the same week. I have had other epic moments and all have been very enlightening.
It doesn’t feel like long ago that I learned how to drive a car or even my 25th birthday when I could legally rent a car. It doesn’t feel like very long ago that my college roommates surprised me at midnight with balloons at a brewery and my first legal drink was placed in front of me. It especially feels like yesterday that I was celebrating my 30th birthday in DC with my older sister and my brother-in-law.
I can’t help but to ponder on the last decade. As I was leaving my 20’s and entering my 30’s, I was leaving a decade where I had lost my dad. My dad died suddenly a month after my 20th birthday. My 20’s was a decade where I grieved deeply and where I got in touch with the deeper parts of my soul. On my 22nd birthday I began my yoga practice and it’s been who I am ever since. Yoga brought me in touch with parts of myself that I had known since I was 4, but they had gotten repressed due to societies expectations of living in a non-spiritual world.
My 20’s ended with a powerful connection to my source. My yoga deepened and I experienced a catharsis the week of my 29th birthday while living in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. (more on that in a separate blog) This was a time in my life where I experienced a total internal death and a total renewal & rebirth, which has brought me to where I am today.
I entered my 30’s lighter and clearer on my intentions, but at the same time I was lost in who I would become. It was at this time in my life where I had finalllllly begun to release my veil and a time where I released the idea of finding the one to marry and the one to help me conceive a baby. Instead, I felt like I was marrying myself and giving birth to a new perspective. In many ways, it was like a breath of fresh air.
As I began to open myself up differently, I noticed my relationships shifting too. Some of my relationships began to die with me and the truly authentic ones were born with me.
I found myself not being accepted and I felt more rejected by tribes of women that I would normally feel connected to. Some women who were once my friends started feeling like my secret enemies.
For awhile it felt very lonely. It especially felt that way when I wasn’t receiving the support that I once had received or even a Christmas card in the mail of my old best friend, her husband and their new baby. I knew I was being ignored, but didn’t understand why. It’s OK now. I know now why. It was because we had absolutely nothing in common and for the first time in my life it felt ok.
I was aware that I was choosing my own path. Even though I wasn’t prepared for the rejection, I was accepting it by learning to sit with it.
In my 20’s I felt more rejected by men. First because my dad died and second because I was mostly getting rejected by the type of men that I thought I wanted to build a life with. Now in my 30’s I was feeling rejection from the type of women that I thought I was supposed to know and be friends with.
In my eyes, I thought I was doing something wrong.
My boyfriend and my real friends were reminding me that it wasn’t that way. I was actually doing something right.
I was shedding my old expired ways so that I could make space for my new self – this new self of being comfortable in my own skin.
My 30’s have been so powerful. My 30’s have been one of the most positive times in my life simply because I have learned to love and accept myself. I have also experienced some heartbreaking losses & lessons, but each one has taught me to value myself more deeply. I have gained confidence where I was carrying around insecurities from my teens. I have found my voice through teaching and my seat through meditation. My boyfriend and I have been together almost 7 1/2 years and he loves me for who I am. He accepts the good, the bad and the ugly. He has my back and supports me as much as my loving mother does.
My sense of security is much stronger, but yet I am aware of the layers that I still need to shed.
Here is the important part, the part that I feel led me to write this blog.
I woke up today after a deep slumber and I had to slowly remind myself that I was awake, that it’s Monday and it’s almost the first day of autumn. As I was trying to pry open my eyes, I began scrolling through my Facebook news feed. I came across a video of ‘Mothers.’ It was meant to show the different types of mothers in the world today. The stay at home moms, the working moms, the Mr. Moms etc.
The focus was on breast-feeding and how some expose it in public and how others shame it. The real message in the end was about parenting.
As the video closed, it ended with a caption that said something like ‘Motherhood is the new Sisterhood.’ I suddenly became numb and froze. I started to shed a tear and then I held it back. I held it back because I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself for not being a Mom. I held back because I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself for once again not feeling connected to a ‘sisterhood.’
Instead, I turned off Facebook and looked within. I remembered the choices that I had made surrounding this and that over the years I had gone back and forth with whether I wanted to be a mother or not.
As I looked within, I received the insight that my 40’s will reveal its own goodness just like my 20’s and 30’s did. I remembered that my life has never been conventional and that I’ve always been on a different path. To some I am looked at as a ‘freak’ and to others I am looked at with the eyes of respect.
When it comes to sisterhood, I feel blessed that I was given two sisters. It’s comforting that they are my sisters because not only do we share the same parents and similar experiences, but neither of us have kids. Even though they both have a furry kid, they can relate to me in their own unique ways when it comes to not being in ‘The sisterhood of motherhood.’ We aren’t alone. There are others just like us and just because we haven’t given birth doesn’t mean that we aren’t mothers somewhere, whether it be to a furry pet, a business or an idea.
At this point, I am learning to be a mother to myself. Not because I didn’t have a mother, but because in some ways I ignore my inner mother. And through learning to be a mother to myself, I am learning to give birth to so much creativity that has been brewing inside of me throughout the years.
And so I end this with, I am looking forward to turning 40 and witnessing all that I will give birth to in this world metaphorically. I’m looking forward to zip lining through life and surfing the waves of what it’s like to be a Woman in today’s World.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this and for ‘listening’ to me write about my process of living in this world today as an ‘Unconventional Woman.’
9 thoughts on “I’m looking forward to zip lining through life and surfing the waves of what it’s like to be a Woman in today’s World.”
Kim Cattrall explained about her not being a mom: “I am a parent. I have actors and actresses that I mentor. I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to. There is a way to become a mother in this day and age that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate.”
Thank you for the reminder kim. I feel I’m lucky to work with kids and to give them my motherly instincts. Namaste.
Thanks for sharing Mary Beth. A few years behind you, I’m still struggling with the mother thing. I have worked with hundreds of kids and am grateful for the energy I have been able to give them and their mothers, and all I’ve learned from having the honor or witnessing their healing. Still, it’s hard sometimes to dodge the messages strewn about, about having children and about our value and ‘place’ in the world. As always, I appreciate your wisdom, confidence, the authenticity and sincerity in your voice and the openness of your heart. As someone who grew up with brothers, these qualities made you seem like a sister since the day I met you. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you my friend. It’s comforting to know there are others like myself out there who are motherless but motherly in giving their maternal instincts and love to other people’s children. Love to you my friend.
I love you, Mary Beth. I’m so glad to call you part of my tribe. You are love!
Thank you Rhonda. I’m so happy to know you too. Love
This totally speaks to my heart. Thank you for sharing and glad to be a part of the “sisterhood” with you 🙂
Boy this speaks to my heart. So glad to know you and to hear from someone who’s in this chidless “sisterhood”. I have never felt less than because I don’t have children, but I have felt like an outsider because I don’t want to have children. You are going to rock 40 just like you have been rocking your 30’s 🙂
So glad this spoke to you Katie. So happy to be connected to you and to share this other form of sisterhood. Thank you for your words 😉 cheers to life and the cards we are handed 🙂 namaste.