I am 33 years old today. And I am happy. And I say that so plainly because, well…it takes time. To be happy. To figure out how to be kind to yourself. To not just choose that happiness, but to feel it. My 20s were brutal – a constant battle with myself, judging my weight, my style, my desire to be as cool/as hip/as smart/as “whatever” as everyone else. My teens were even worse – grappling with how to fit in, and what that even meant. My high school had cliques: the black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina girls. Being biracial, I fell somewhere in between. So everyday during lunch, I busied myself with meetings – French club, student body, whatever one could possibly do between noon and 1pm- I was there. Not so that I was more involved, but so that I wouldn’t have to eat alone.
I must have been about 24 when a casting director looked at me during an audition and said “You need to know that you’re enough. Less makeup, more Meghan.”
You need to know that you’re enough. A mantra that has now engrained itself so deeply within me that not a day goes by without hearing it chime in my head. That five pounds lost won’t make you happier, that more makeup won’t make you prettier, that the now iconic saying from Jerry Maguire -”You complete me” – frankly, isn’t true. You are complete with or without a partner. You are enough just as you are.
So for my birthday, here’s what I would like as a gift: I want you to be kind to yourself. I want you to challenge yourself. I want you to stop gossiping, to try a food that scares you, to buy a coffee for someone just because, to tell someone you love them…and then to tell yourself right back. I want you to find your happiness.
I did. And it’s never felt so good.
I am enough.
Photo via: Jake Rosenberg