It was my birthday last week. I could say ‘damn time flies,’ but instead, I’m saying ‘bring it on.’
The wisdom and insights I have acquired at this juncture are priceless and empowering. The seasoned intuition, the decades of experiences, and the ability to exhale as I take in a vista that I have created and bear witness to, exhilarating. To believe I’m closer to the end of my life would be a linear way of viewing my journey. I’m discovering the best part is yet to come while equipped with a tool belt to enjoy it. I could go on about the youth that was left behind, but having my inner child stand up and wanting to play creates a new spin on what youth is. The best gift I have is the kaleidoscope of insights that I’ve earned.
As I look around, I see a community of women that surround me, and I’m beaming in their strength and wisdom while supported by their love. Women who would stand up for me when everyone else has left the building. Women who have walked knee-deep through crap, carrying loads that were never theirs. Women who created families where there were none and brought a life of love to where there was once only severed relationships. Women who built a career step by step with help from no one during a time that was dominated by men. Void of ‘#MeToo’ and instead, becoming Mavericks of the ‘F*ck You’ movement. Women who can laugh at themselves and don’t sweat the small stuff. Women who are skilled in creating a gourmet meal out of scraps in a fridge, and who don’t panic if a fart slips through their designer pants. Women who bring common sense back to the forefront and possess an exquisite sense of humour. Women who are custodians of compassion generously sharing it wherever they go blessed with an emotional intelligence quotient as elevated as the air on Mount Everest.
There are the women who brought normality to issues that would otherwise be shackled in old beliefs, myths and fears — releasing their baggage so progress could prevail. Women who are fearless declaring autonomy around their bodies, and souls, telling the church and government enough as well as a life partner or two. Women who have stood up to abuse and championed to end all things that belittle their worth. Women who can negotiate every bit as well as Kissinger and advocate in a manner that would have Ralph Nader applauding. Women void of ego, invested in the result, not the accolades. Women who have run out of f*cks to give and knowing exactly where to give a f*ck.
When I travel outside of my immediate circle to the further realms of the sisterhood, I get a grander perspective of my community — filled with women I adore, like the dynamic Chaka Kahn, the talented Annette Bening, the gifted Nigella Lawson, the accomplished Michelle Obama, the brilliant Christiane Amanpour, the striking Angela Bassett, the hilarious Leslie Jones, the gorgeous Lisa Fischer and the musical Carol Welsman. A stunning and powerful collective of dynamic female energy that not only exists on this planet but is a catalyst for positive change. An influential demographic and why I was inspired to create ‘What Were You Thinking?’ I am clear on the fact that I am an aspect of all these women as they are of me, and we are of each other, which makes us all awesome.
With each birthday I become more aware, my freak flag is in full view, my inner child now holding court. I am enveloped by women who are far sexier now than in their twenties and owning it. Women who declare themselves without apology, have kicked cancer’s ass and those that faced tragedy with gonads of steel. Walking through the dark abyss, until it turned into a sunrise, transforming surviving into thriving. Women whose light emanates in the greys of their hair, the lightness of their benevolent touch and whose lips have spoken words that have moved mountains and shifted our awareness. Their skin appearing like a topographic map of Machu Picchu, until they smile when every line vanishes as they point towards the sun. Their capacity for love, empathy and forgiveness as expansive as the oceans that blanket the earth.
Every one of these women and those of you reading this has changed the world. You may not see how and it’s not necessary that you ever do, but know that one little action rooted in compassion is transformative in the collective cry for love, democracy, and peace. It’s all you, my sisterhood and my inspiration. You are the candles on my cake, bright and fluid — your flame dancing.
So on this my birthday, I ask that you toast yourself. In that, you are toasting me and become part of my birthday wish to me. Take the time to recognize your kick-ass magnificence and permit yourself to release the things that have weighed you down. Release the struggle and welcome the freedom that you have earned. Celebrate in the courage you’ve demonstrated and bask in the love you have shown to yourself and others and know the best is yet to come. Your successes were born out of conflict you transmuted into possibilities. You are magicians with the tenacity of steel. But most importantly, you are a light, very bright light.
Look out into your world knowing that you’re integral to the sisterhood and are part of this family of women that is a disruptor and inspiration for change. You are beauty, you are power, you are Grace, and you are f*cking fantastic!
Happy Birthday to us.