About two years ago, I had a friend ask me how poetry and everything creative was going. In a very nonchalant way I told her it was going well that I was just doing it because in that moment it made sense for me to do so, not because there was a weight of calling to it quite yet. She looked at me and said,
I’ve been thinking a lot about that interaction with her, especially when it gets closer to my birthday I tend to get pretty introspective and take note of the time up until that point. That’s why I decided to do a whole birthday show in order to bring in year twenty-six. I had finally realized the height, depth and power of my moving mountain. I was finally realizing, the extent of the powerful and talented community I am surrounded by and the influence that I have within it. I was trying to figure out what my role was in this world that is so dangerously and heartbreakingly chaotic and disarray right now.
A world where everyday we dread to turn on the radio or open social media because of another hashtag trend that has circled due to a tragedy, I have felt heavy and helpless. So in order to still celebrate and yet not be naive to what’s happening around me—I threw a birthday show.
Friends, mentors and overall just people I really adored, show up to perform and to attend. I created a whole set of gifted people from singing to poetry all paired with a jazzy houseband, in one of my favorite and most dear event spaces— ya’ll it was pure magic.
I wanted to sprinkle some goodness back into a world that has so much meh right now.I have learned that the best way to do that is through art. I wanted to shine the brightest light that I have to offer, by doing what I know how to do best–create, speak and live out of my whole understanding of who I am and what I was put on this earth to do. I wanted to have parts of the night consist of conversations about companies and people who were doing good.
I had the honor of wearing a dress by Shop Ashley Lemiuex “for women who do” (so cool). I had the honor of meeting Ashley at the Yellow Conference this year and hearing her speak and it was absolutely amazing. Her heart just radiates through her speaking and interaction with others. What I loved most about Ashley was her for children, as she is also the founder of The Shine Project where they hire inner city students to make jewelry and all the proceeds go towards the students being able to pursue their dreams and college educations. **insert ugly tears here** It allows these students the opportunity to not just dream but make them a reality and give them the chance to shine their brightest.
Secondly, we had some AMAZING wine from One Hope Wine. Not only is the wine itself BOMB.COM but also each bottle has a different mission and or cause that it funds. My personal favorite was the Merlot (I felt so twenty-six sipping AND enjoying a non-moscato wine) the bottle of Merlot funds medical research to end global disease. The beautiful and tasty sparkling wine (champagne) which every case funds 25 MEALS to a child in need. Their impact results are ASTOUNDING you can check them out here.
Both of these amazing companies I have felt so strongly about and was honored to be part of any mission that they are involved in. do good, share good.
This year, I am realizing the extent of what I’ve been given and how to honor and utilize it with honest intention. Sure, I could have just had a dinner or something (I mean I did have brunch on my actual birthday) but I wanted to DO something, I wanted to contribute something, I still do, birthday or not. If I am not contributing to the goodness of this world, if what I say or do does not bring people closer to their Father and God of this universe then I am not doing what I was put on this earth to do.
p.s THANK you to every performer and every audience member, you have no idea how special that evening was to me.
THANK YOU to both One Hope and Ashley for the amazing beauty and glitter you are sprinkling in a sometimes really dark place.
Every birthday year, I always have a word for myself going into it. Something to focus on and be aware of throughout the year. This year it’s, B L O O M I N G.
The seeds have been planted, watered and tended to, the weeds have tried to rise among them and the uprooting has been painful but so so beautiful. Twenty-five was hard, it was growing pain at its finest and yet I know it was to set up twenty-six for whatever it is God has in store for this year. I have deeply rooted myself, I am sure of who I am (for now), what I want and what I contribute to this world, I have learned to walk a little taller, a little more certain and a whole lot more boldly.
She is learning
And she is growing
She is blooming into beautiful
25 felt like coming home
Felt like unwinding silk robe and staring
at every beautiful thing life has to offer in a mirror
25 was lessons learned,
Was tears in cars parked in random places
25 was dance parties and the permission to be everything I was meant to be
25 was unapologetic red lip and midriffs
It felt like heartbreaks but with faster comebacks and less bitterness
It was knowing my worth as if I were to hold it in my own hands
and declare it to the world
Enough enough enough
It was cleaning out all the words in my closet of things I’ve never said
and writing letters of all the ones I couldn’t say out loud
25 was the declaration of no longer biting my tongue
Of no longer being walking wound instead breathing victory
25 was completion
Full circle bloom of planted seeds from all the years before
25 was an abundance of grace even on the days,
In fact when on all of the days it was not deserved
25 was tinder dates and swiping
and realizing that I am less shallow conversation
and more let’s Netflix and chill with the intimacy of each other’s minds or something
And yet 25 was also taco trucks and hand holding on the days when you just didn’t want to be alone
It was admitting your feelings even when they did not aline with someone else’s happiness
It was coming to terms with the spiritual and the physical being
that I was told for so long could not live in the same body
25 was coming home to my own body
Of wearing clothes that fit on ( most days )
Of not tugging and shoving
Of not wanting to shed this skin
25 was grocery lists with flowers just because
Of buying dairy free ice cream because at 25 you learned to take care of yourself
You learn to listen to your breathing and capable body
Of laying in hot rooms to hear your own heartbeat bounce off of yoga mats
You learned the strength of your own arms and resilience of your own heart
You learned to stay on the mat, that staying is still considered fighting
That leaving sometimes proves you cannot force what is not for you
You learned to fight for yourself
But most importantly you remembered
That it’s okay to stop and breathe
The world will still be there
The busy will be easily accessible again
You learned to fly
To let someone else dream bigger
than your own capacity to dream for yourself
25 was risks
Was letting go
Was do it now and figure out the rest later
25 and still figuring out
26 and probably will still be figuring it out
25 was forgiveness
was be kind to yourself
25 was what do you want ?
And answering honestly
25 was blooming
Was buds in warm rays
Not hesitating for where they grow
And where the shine
25 was coming home to yourself
And leaving the door Wide open
25 was making room
For whatever else God has to offer
25 was coming home
And leaving the door wide open
25 was growing up
She is learning
And she is growing
She is blooming into beautiful
photos: Veronica Natalie Photography
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