The Birthday Optimization

 

Bonjour mes amis!  (I named this blog post using The Big Bang Theory episode title format ha).  I’ve taken an extended break from blogging about my Europe study tour, and instead bring you this update on some recurring thoughts that have been on my mind.

So it may or may not be my birthday this week… 

But I’m not here to talk about my birthday.  At least not exactly.  I’ve been thinking back on this past year of my life with some distaste as well as fondness.  Fondness for all the new friends and happy experiences I’ve made, but distaste for my overall sense of self.

Let me just get right to the point, because I usually ramble on and try to make these eloquent blog posts, and that can be lame.

Last year I erased my birthday.  Cancelled it.  Ignored it.  Lied about it.

Because I was ashamed and embarrassed about turning 20 and not having gone on a mission for my church.

Due to the pressure of the mission age change, attending an all-Mormon college, and mainly self-inflicted feelings of insecurity about how others saw me, I didn’t want anyone to know it was my birthday.  And how sad is that?  Because turning 20 was my Golden Birthday~ the birthday that matches the day you were born (i.e. I was turning 20 on January 20th) which I had been looking forward to my ENTIRE life!

Here is an excerpt from my talk I ironically gave on Peer Pressure in my student ward that year:

Soon enough though, my friends started turning in their mission papers at age 19.  While I was beyond excited for them in taking this big step in their lives, I started feeling the pressure of going on a mission earlier than I was ready for.  It felt like EVERYONE was going at 19, and I spent most of my 19th year of life feeling like I was doing the wrong thing by choosing to go to school.  I even received some comments from well-meaning members that school was not as important as going on a mission NOW.

I became sad and jealous of my friends who were progressing toward this good thing and who had this righteous desire to serve a mission.  I constantly compared myself to them and felt like I had nothing good to offer at this point in my life.

Eventually, I was called to serve at 19.

At 19, I was called to serve as Relief Society President, of this ward.  Throughout the stress of this particular calling, I knew that this is what I needed to be doing.  I knew that Heavenly Father was mindful of me and my circumstances and I was blessed, much like my missionary friends, with sweet experiences and blessings that were associated with this particular call.

You can read the rest of my talk here

I’ve been struggling to accept that other people’s opinions of me don’t matter, despite my friend Kimmie K’s constant loving (but sometimes not so loving) reminder that it doesn’t matter what people think of me.  Sometimes I flat out tell her “no, you’re wrong. instagram is everything.”

But now that I’m so old…… 😉 sometimes I can turn down that mindset a little bit.

Basically what I’m trying to say is: I’M TURNING 21 AND I AM NOT ASHAMED OF IT!!!

Even though I have nothing planned, with most of my friends away at school or on missions and I will not be going out drinking, clubbing, or doing anything remotely close to the social expectation of turning 21, I’m starting to not even flipping care that I’m going to be 21 and the only thing I have to show is an Associates Degree, an SD card full of pictures of 7 different European countries, and my role as a hygiene DA at Bradburn Dentistry.

To quote Spongebob Squarepants, “I’M UGLY AND I’M PROUD.”

Except I’m not ugly. #VainIsMyName

I’M DOING ALRIGHT AND I’M PROUD.

Bye Haters.

DSC01661
This is me being flawless on top of the Eiffel Tower. #slay
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