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happy birthday to me

My 40th birthday has arrived (Friday, to be exact). For many this is a dreaded milestone, but I’m actually kind of excited to continue this wild and wonderful ride.

So this month we are celebrating ME… which is actually really uncomfortable for me but as we all know, the opportunity for growth always comes with some discomfort.

I love celebrating other people’s birthdays… just not my own. I love to highlight how much others have accomplished, what special people they are, and how they’ve contributed to my life. But when it comes to me… it’s really easy for me to dismiss my own accomplishments, brush off my special qualities, and shrug off my contributions as no big deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to pass up a nice dinner or thoughtful gifts from my family but a big, fabulous party celebrating my birth has never really been my thing.

For a long time, I thought it was because I was shy and avoided the spotlight. And that is partially true. But recently on my healing journey, I discovered this distaste for public recognition stems from my inability to give myself recognition for being an amazing person. Not even for one day a year.

The negative reel that runs through my head doesn’t dwell on accomplishments very long but won’t let me forget when I’ve made a mistake or when I haven’t met my own standards. It’s uncomfortable to celebrate me when I’m constantly beating myself up.

How many of us find it easy to praise others, but it’s awkward to praise ourselves? Do you extend patience and compassion to your friends (or even strangers), but forget to give that same grace to yourself?

If you’re anything like me, you tell yourself that you need to do better, accomplish more, work harder, work smarter, get ahead, make a difference, save the environment, be a good mom/wife/sister/daughter/employee/friend… and lose weight, dress cute, and keep smiling. And when I feel overwhelmed by my own expectations, I’m grumpy and moody while I try to hold it all together instead of just shifting my own expectations.

With that said, I’m happy to share that through my healing journey, I’ve recognized this pattern. I am doing the work and making the change to be kinder to myself and let go of expectations that don't align with my true self. I am celebrating my accomplishments and I’m at peace with the things I didn’t accomplish. I’m getting to a point where I am comfortable being me (most of the time).

This month, I will step outside my comfort zone and start sharing stories from my first 40 years because it’s so important and powerful to share our stories with our community in order to draw strength and knowledge from our collective experiences. We are not alone on this journey and we are not meant to be alone. Thank you all for sharing your time, love, and energy with me and with our ming+ming community.

With love,

Ming-Wai (with a lot of coaching from Ming-Cee)

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