“Age is irrelevant. Ask me how many sunsets I’ve seen, hearts I’ve loved, trips I’ve taken, or concerts I’ve been to. That’s how old I am.” ~Joelle
A Keeping It Real Post
Remember when I wrote about being invisible? I think it’s safe to say I’m fully recovered. Or, perhaps, uncovered. Welcome to this year’s birthday post.
The Real Lisa Bain
As I’ve made the rounds for Heart of a Kingdom promotion, I’ve been blessed to meet some really cool new people. One of them asked me why I use The Real Lisa Bain. I initially chose it because Lisa Bain.com wasn’t available as a domain name, and one of those smarter-than-me marketing people suggested we all do that as the next best option. But I loved how it also meant being real or authentic. And authenticity is something we don’t often find as we navigate this thing we call life.
An Authentic Grief Story
So much of our lives these days is spent worrying about what other people think and making ourselves small, forcing ourselves to live within someone else’s lines instead of honoring our truths. Nothing reinforces that need like having to hide or diminish your grief story because it makes others uncomfortable.
Hey, buddy, you think my grief story makes you feel uncomfortable? Try living it!”
I was blessed with the freedom and support to not care as much as I would have if I were still living the corporate life. If you’ve been following along, you know how much I stopped coloring within the lines. But even then, I still often found myself holding my breath, making myself small, and wondering how things I wrote would make my friends and family feel about me.
So what does authenticity have to do with birthdays? I’m so glad you asked. Birthdays are funny things for women. I have friends that refuse to confess their actual age instead of celebrating the amazing feat of their survival. I used to be one of them. But watching someone you love fight for their next birthday kind of changes your perspective.
I’ll NEVER complain about another birthday again, and will never hide my age because I know it for the triumph that it is. Although, just like the quote above, it really doesn’t matter what the number is. What matters is how much life you’re cramming into them. And I feel pretty good about mine.
So here I am, celebrating my new year in the same birthday suit I started in. It’s worse for wear, but I’ve earned every scar, stretch, and laugh line along the way. Just like my life these days, I’ve finally grown to love it. And just like this photo, it makes me laugh at the silliness of it all.
This photo was from a shoot for an ongoing Grief Recovery Project documenting the changing face of grief and identity in widowhood. Someday I may publish it. Until then, cheers to sunsets, hearts loved, trips taken, concerts enjoyed, and birthdays.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.