Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts on my Birthday


I’m 51 today.


Turning thirty and forty was no big deal for me. However, when I turned fifty last year, it dawned on me that more than half of my life was already over. How many years would I still have? Twenty? Thirty, if I’m lucky? And how was I planning to spend those years?

Those were the questions that occupied me for the first half of last year, and I only knew that I didn’t want to go back into an office job I didn’t enjoy, but do something where my heart was in it and that nourished my soul. I read books, I took my first e-course with Visionary Mom that helped me to name my dreams and formulate what I really wanted to do. Exactly around that time I started reading “Taking Flight” by Kelly Rae Roberts. She mentioned her blog in her book, and just out of curiosity I switched on my computer and visited her website.

Oh boy… She advertised her very first e-course, “Flying Lessons”. I read the outline and I knew that this was the course for me. This was exactly the answer to all my questions and my search. This was IT. I signed up the very first day – and it was the best thing I did for myself this last year and it has changed my life quite a bit.

I started my own blog without really knowing what I was doing. I “met” people in blogland who have become friends. I found enormous support and was amazed at what others were doing. I became serious about my photography, found so much inspiration that led me to try new perspectives, to take pictures of completely different motives than I did before. It was fun and incredibly encouraging. I made more art than before and I even showed it on my blog. It was a whirlwind.

Years ago I had stopped to make any New Year’s resolutions because I knew that I usually wouldn’t keep them. And honestly, who cares whether I loose ten pounds or not (actually I did over the past year! Without a resolution – but a lot of exercise). So no resolutions for 2011 either. But I have a few wishes for my birthday.

I want to be truly authentic. When I write or comment, it’s ME who spills out those words, my thinking and feeling. It’s not what I think others want to hear or read, but something that is ME no matter whether it is “popular” or not. It is okay to be different and to think differently. It is also okay if I can’t express myself perfectly. Everybody who comes to this site knows that I am not a native speaker, that some sentences will sound funny or weird. What the heck? It doesn’t matter. Being authentic means that I’ll be vulnerable. It needs a lot of courage, but I want to do this. Perhaps it’ll hurt sometimes, however, I can gain so much from that. It is perfectly okay to be imperfect.

There are other wishes – like doing more art, getting more serious about my photography, opening my Etsy store, read, write more and worry less, but being authentic is the most important one. Many bloggers had a certain word for the new year - my word for 2011 is

“authentic.

15 comments:

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Happy birthday! It seems to me that you have accomplished so much and the last year has been an especially successful one.(-:

Lynn said...

I smile as I read this...as I remember thinking the same at 50 and then again at 60 but the time was even shorter that I had left to live, and now at 69 and a half even shorter. I find myself pedaling faster and faster to cram as much life into my life as I can! I do my best to enjoy and be grateful for each day. I set challenges for myself (in art mostly) and strive to have fun. I love being with family and try to pass on to my grand kids things I find fun and seems they do too; I cut back on my work hours and increase my play hours; I give myself more time to sit and read a good book and let it be okay to look like I'm not doing much; I try to remember to tell people I love them and to take in their love. I think at the end of a day and life that is the best we can do. Lucky you, I bet you have more days to enjoy than I do...just keep on doing it. Happy Birthday!

sil said...

Such an inspiring read, Carola! I'm just four years younger than you, but I found myself pondering over the idea that more than half of my life was already over as well.
This year I'll try to be more authentic too! Thanks for sharing :)

Christine E-E said...

Happppppy Birthday to you Carola.... I hope you have something wonderful planned to celebrate you!!!! Your word "authentic" is a thoughtful choice. Isn't it amazing that so many situations (blogging, e-courses), stimulating new friends, new sights (travel does wonders for the creative process), and life experiences can redirect our thoughts and feelings about ourselves.
Celebrating YOU today.

windrock studio said...

Hey there, Carola ... another thing we share in commom, birthdays in January! mine is the 18th but I am a "bit" older than you! I also share your thoughts and feelings on being
authentic, I think it is the most important thing to keep in mind with this crazy blogging thing!
I am sending you loving birthday wishes, hope you have a beautiful day.
Susan

Rhonda said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear sweet Carola!!! I hope you are having an awesome day. I am so glad you created a blog, or I would not have met you! :-)
Bless you my friend.

foxysue said...

Dearest Carola,

Yippee it's your birthday my authentic friend, I love you, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Sue xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Marcie said...

Happy Birthday!! What a wonderful way to celebrate..with a new affirmation about and towards your 'new' life!!!!

Diana said...

Happy Birthday my dear friend! Love your story...we have very similar stories. So happy to have met you and follow you through the same experiences. I always feel the thoughtful authenticity of your words and appreciate it. Best to you this year with your life's passion. Sending a big birthday hug!

Cynthia Schelzig,Cynnie said...

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!!!! I can relate to what you are saying here.....good for you for being so courageous. Wish you all the best....

Molly said...

We are practically twins :) I turned 51 on December 15 and I am still asking myself some of those key questions. I realize that I am indeed over the hill and I do not want to waste a single day that I have left.

Authentic is a terrific word for this new year.

Happy birthday blessings to you!!

patty said...

Carola, I've so enjoyed following this journey with you! I don't think any of us really knew what was in store when we started blogging or just how powerful it would be. "Taking Flight" was also a huge catalyst for me. It led me to Kelly Rae's blog and then to the BePresent Retreat and things have never been the same since! I LOVE your word and I agree - it's hard sometimes to stick to being totally real, but I think it is worth the effort.

Happy, happy birthday, my friend. I am 58, so ahead of you! Oh, and even though I knew, I never would have guessed that English is not your first language. Amazing.

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Alles Liebe und Gute nachträglich zu deinem Geburtstag, hoffentlich hattest du einen schönen Tag :)
Deine Gedankengänge kann ich sehr gut nachvollziehen. Sich selber treu zu bleiben, das ist eine wunderbare Einstellung.
Ich wünsche dir, dass du das umsetzen kannst, was du dir für dein neues Lebensjahr wünschst.
Liebe Grüße und eine schöne neue Woche Silvia

puna said...

Happy birthday! I love your word and I am really looking forward to getting to you know more!

JeanFB said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishes! So inspiring to read your post, to think about being authentic each and every day, and to embrace what each day has to offer. Love your photo, too - it's positively stunning, the texture, the contrasts, and I love snow!