On birthdays and investments.

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“The first business asset you should invest in is yourself. ” – Orrin Woodward

Last year on my birthday, I wrote this piece on birthdays and the fear of change. I talked about how I invested in a writing course, somewhat expecting to fail (hard) like I felt I had failed with everything else in my life. A year later, I have a business, two books published, several amazing copywriting clients, and a shiny new apartment to go with my shiny new life.

When I blew out the candles on last year’s birthday cake, I wished for Haylie to still be with me on my next birthday.

Today, she’s curled up on her bed behind me as I type this, in remission from lymphoma for the third time.

This isn’t all to say the last year has been easy. It’s been a shitshow. It’s been one of the harder years of my life and it challenged me in ways I didn’t know I was ready to be challenged (also ways I didn’t want to be challenged).

My life and heart were changed forever by the events that also changed your life forever; the ongoing global pandemic, watching every state around me burn, the collective societal upheaval, anguish, and rage.

This last year I leaned into spirituality more than I ever have, like more than hey out there, can you make this light turn green? Mostly because I didn’t know what else to do.

This last year I walked away from five years of passionately advocating for, writing about, and speaking on suicide and depression, because it was keeping me standing still in pain and darkness and preventing me from healing. This was a loss that had to be grieved.

This last year I went through dating h.e.l.l. Hell. Hell. I can’t say it any other way. I was quite literally abandoned on a date after declining an offer to go home with said date. Which is a story for another time. The overall takeaway from about 8 months of actively dating: fuck this. At the end of the whole thing I came out very attached to a man who enjoys sleeping with other women. Not ideal.

So this year for my birthday, I invested in a relationship course. Last year, writing course. This year, relationship course. Next year? It’s a surprise we’ll all find out together.

Because as we invest in ourselves, no matter what the course or trip or coach or book or workshop or conference, when we invest in ourselves and in continuing to learn about and better ourselves and our lives, something happens: we break our world wide open.

We break our world open to truth.

We break our world open to change.

We break our world open to history that can shape the present.

We break our world open to perspective.

We break our world open to possibilities.

We break our world open to life.

And coming from someone who at times has wanted to end her life: it may be awful and messy and hard, but also? Worth it.


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