She Speaks on Her Birthday

Posting a message of vulnerability on my 61st birthday. Life has flown by. The muscles are smaller and the wrinkles are deeper, but I am blessed. We all have our own unique journey and our bodies tell our stories. I’ve had challenges that have dragged me through the bowels of Hell, and still consume me, but I have life, family, and a few good genes that keep me going. I’ve lived with the old motto: “Never let them see you sweat.” (except when I’m racing in competition, that is)

I’d love to say that I don’t bruise easily, but I do. I take the high road when I can. I have a bit too much empathy at times and not enough at others. I start every day in gratitude, and smile at strangers. I’m fiercely protective of my family, friends, and clients. I never give up.

Some random facts. I break electronics. Computers hate me. I save clothes for years. I collect hot sauces. I can pick up dog poop all day long, but I threw away my babies clothes when I potty trained them, because I couldn’t deal. I might have a blanket hoarding problem. I once owned 5 dining sets and only had one dining room. At the start of every live stage performance, when the orchestra strikes the first cord, I cry. I was beaten up by girls when I was a child. I was raped by a man when I was an adult. I say “fuck” a lot. For a short time in college, I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day. I saved my best friend from drowning in 8th grade. I love Hello Kitty. I hate playing cards. I’ve never eaten an oyster. I have panic attacks. Babies are my favorite thing in the world.

I can’t say that I agree with the number 61. I feel 40. I think there’s a math mistake on the calendar. I have a lifetime ahead of me and wonder when I will feel old. Perhaps never? Oh there are days, but they don’t last. I won’t let them. I’ve endured two serious head on collisions, nearly severed my arm in one, and split my head open in the other, resulting in a three day coma. The physical damage to my spine is severe. My Chiropractor once told me he preferred I wear a neck collar if I ever go in the ocean. Right. Nope.

My advice? Wake up every day excited about the possibilities. Find beauty everywhere. Tell your family you love them often. Accept help. Kiss a dog. Stretch. Walk, run, jump, swim! Get out in nature as often as possible. Listen to water flowing. Meditate. Floss. And For Fuck’s sake, LAUGH A LOT. (Especially at yourself)

This passage showed up on my Facebook feed today. So fitting.

“How many years of beauty do I have left?she asks me.How many more do you want?Here. Here is 34. Here is 50.
When you are 80 years old and your beauty rises in ways your cells cannot even imagine now and your wild bones grow luminous and ripe, having carried the weight of a passionate life.
When your hair is aflame with winter and you have decades of learning and leaving and loving sewn into the corners of your eyes and your children come home to find their own history in your face.
When you know what it feels like to fail ferociously and have gained the capacity to rise and rise and rise again.
When you can make your tea on a quiet and ridiculously lonely afternoon and still have a song in your heartQueen owl wings beating beneath the cotton of your sweater.
Because your beauty began there beneath the sweater and the skin, remember?
This is when I will take you into my arms and coo YOU BRAVE AND GLORIOUS THING you’ve come so far.
I see you.Your beauty is breathtaking.”
~ Jeannette Encinias

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