Every year on the eve of my birthday, I sit down and write out goals for the following year. I’m not much of a supporter of resolutions, but I definitely believe in life changes and transitions. This year, while drinking a cup of coffee in the muggy heat of mid-summer, I sat outside and watched the lightening bugs flicker while I listened to Adele’s album 21. The track Lovesong came on and something instantly and profoundly changed for me. Sitting there, staring out at the night sky, I thought back on the first time I had heard the song when it was originally done by one of my favorite bands, The Cure. I then remembered Adele’s Grammy acceptance speech for album of the year and a smile spread across my face.
If you haven’t heard the speech, Adele talks about how almost exactly a year before standing on the stage accepting the award, she was writing and recording the album, inspired by a failed relationship, which hadn’t even been released yet. “It’s been the most life-changing year.”
I remembered hearing that live while watching the Grammy’s and realizing, in looking back on my own life, how true the power of just one year, but could questioning the fact that most people do not write an album, release it and win album of the year.
But why not?
I’ve had to be open to a lot of change in the last few years, and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to distance myself from many people to try to decipher what ultimately made me happiest. I had to set limits and boundaries like I had never set before, including choosing my battles, something I’ve never been very good at doing. I had to allow myself to see the positive and open myself to all people, no matter their beliefs. Instead of just saying that I believe life was a learning experience, I had to believe it. And I did.
All of this was almost exactly a year ago today. Since that time, my business has improved and I am really connecting with my clients on an entirely different level. My personal life has improved. I’m legally married, although I guess that we’ll have to see what happens with that ordeal, but my marriage is remarkably better than it has ever been. I have learned to let go of control and allow myself to enjoy the ride. I finally grieved my mother’s death and I found my home again in Alcoholics Anonymous, renewing old friendships and making new ones.
And I wrote a book. I guess that is my little album, although I’ve won no awards…yet. I’m still holding out for that! This has literally been the most life changing year of my entire life, including the year I got sober. For me, 41 will forever be the year I finally grew up.
It hasn’t all been wonderful and it hasn’t all be fun, but it has definitely been worth it.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Thelma and Louise. For me, just watching it redirected my perspective on life. Tonight, I watched it again, and found myself stuck on a scene that has always meant so much to me, and especially this year, exactly at 12:00 as I write this and I turn 42, it means so much more. It is the scene where Thelma tells Louise she can’t go back home(See clip below).
“I don’t know. Somethings like, crossed over in me. I can’t go back. I mean, I just couldn’t live.”
And thinking about that quote, I take one breath out of 41 and one breath into 42. Happy Birthday Peter. May the next year be even more amazing!
*Public Service Announcement…Please feel free to contact me at my email address firstname.lastname@example.org to give me birthday gifts, and as Lucy on the Peanuts used to say, “Cash will suffice.”
And stay tuned for the release of my book The Before Now and After Then July 29th 2014! Add my book to your Goodreads to-read shelf and go there to find out more and visit my author page! Thanks!