Dear Twenty-Eight

Dear Twenty-Eight,

Thank you for the lessons – there were many. Thank you for the grace – it was hard won. Thank you for the sea change in my heart – it was painful, but it was worth it.

February 6, 2021. Twenty-eight, today I say goodbye to you and I welcome my twenty-ninth year on this Earth. It’s supposed to be cold and snowy. My birthdays seem to always be very cold and either snowy or clear skies. Fitting, for I love the stillness of winter.

I have been reflecting on this twenty-eighth year of my life, and it makes me emotional. You were the most beautiful, challenging, heart-breaking, bang-your-head-against-the-wall frustrating, surprising, transformative year – perhaps of my whole life. At twenty-eight my health improved in a way that will change the trajectory of my life. At twenty-eight I got a handle on a lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression. At twenty-eight I became a mother. At twenty-eight I became me.

I discovered that motherhood actually does suit me, I learned that I could trust my gut and my intentions, I left a job that left me empty for one that fills me up an reinforces my purpose, and I unearthed and polished a great love for plants and herbalism – something that feels as though it has always been there waiting for me to find it.

I made friends who connect with my soul and know my heart. I made friends easily. I made friends confidently. I learned that I am worth knowing, and I learned that letting people in cracks open my heart in the very best way.

I didn’t become a new person; I became my truest self. Twenty-eight, you’ve been a few years in the making. But the funny thing is, you feel so much like eight. Allowing me to dream, laughing freely, crying without shame, foregoing the makeup, going days without brushing my hair and not giving a damn, wearing clothes that are comfortable rather than clothes that project a persona, marveling at a butterfly, playing in the dirt and planting seeds, sitting in the prairie and letting it soothe my heart, doing things that make me feel like me.

My twenty-eighth year held two Friday-the-13ths, a Blue Moon on Halloween, the birth of my children under the Harvest Moon, and the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter to reveal the ‘North Star’ the week of the Christmas holiday; The worst global pandemic in 100 years, unrelenting wildfires all across the Western United States, and historic lows for a sitting POTUS; and, I