Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

Reflections on 36

In a little over an hour I’ll turn 37 years old. It feels weird coming out of my mouth because I don’t necessarily know that I had any idea of what I’d ‘be like’ when I was 37 and I’m pretty sure I’m only turning 25. What I do know is that 36 was a doozy and as I always do as I finish up another year around the sun, I’ve been reflecting on this year.

The one thing that’s stuck with me is that authenticity is what keeps me sane. Being who I am, speaking my truth, being honest about my less than perfect Christian journey, and being blatantly transparent about my mental illness has been the most freeing aspect of my life.

Here’s the deal – I’ve spent most of my adulthood being what I thought I should be. Having the career ambition I thought I should have, serving where I thought I should, saying what I thought I should, even feeling the way others thought I should. Do you know how exhausting that is? I have ‘Shoulded’ myself in to a worrisome existence.

In September, God gave me a good lesson on should. The job security I thought I had vanished overnight. That created a snowball effect of hurt, frustration, anger, and confusion that was enough to send me into a bawling tizzy in my garage. All of that made me confront my greatest fears: change and the unknown. I had to completely rely on my faith to get up every day and do what I was tasked to do without cursing people out left and right (that was hard y’all because I’m a curser. I’m not proud of it – it just happens when I get really upset, or tired, or cranky; or…).

And here I am, almost 3.5 months later and in the words of my husband, I have a glow (not that kind). It’s not from some deep contemplative work I’ve been doing either! It’s just simply from being me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s recognizing when I’ve really screwed up and apologizing and standing strong when people try to run over me. It’s from sleeping in when I want to and cooking dinner from my family. It’s from reminding myself constantly not to take myself too seriously. It’s from realizing that climbing the ladder and breaking the glass ceiling just isn’t my thing. It’s from spending time talking to God, not because I want something but because I just need to say thank you!

Now don’t get it twisted. I have not arrived. I still have my moments where I have to check my faith. I still have my ‘what if, what should’ moments – because I’m human. But if this is what 37 is going to be like, I’ll take it.

Until next time…

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