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On flipping birds and forty.

After her mom died in February, Joann found some comfort in returning to her own crafty roots. She’s a crochet wizard, but decided to try her hand at beading. Mostly earrings. The detailed focus was therapeutic. After some compliments from friends, she put a few pairs on Etsy.

It took no less than eleven days for a stranger across the country to inform Joann her earrings were unoriginal, she was doing it wrong, and she needed to change.

What was that thing about if you don’t have something nice to say…?

(I read recently the internet has not so much created information overload as opinion overload. PREACH.)

As we just completed four years as Milagro (if you’ve never heard our birth story, you can read it here), I’ve thought a lot about how those four years have felt, looking back. And since I’m about to turn forty, it’s quite convenient that each Milagro year, in many ways, corresponds to each decade I’ve (survived? lasted? endured? conquered?) experienced.

The first year was much like being a carefree (naive?) and imaginative kiddo. The possibilities were endless and we could create and be whatever we wanted. All the passion, all the excitement, all the energy. Man, that was fun.

And then, once you’ve started to BECOME, you look around and compare (oh my GAWL, 7th grade). Is it okay to be different? Am I doing it wrong? Mine doesn’t look like theirs. People expect me to what? Should I change what I like (who I am)? This is way harder than it used to be.

Year three (oh, to be twenty-five) was full of self-discovery and deciding what to really DO and where to really GO. Determining what we we’re good at and what feels meaningful and right on our insides. And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just trial and ERROR. (“Ew, yeah, nope that’s not right AT ALL. Lesson learned.”)

This past year though has likely been my favorite. Not exactly my favorite decade of life (31 was my cancer year) but certainly the one when I learned exactly who I am (and what Milagro is) and began weeding out the rest. It feels so, so good.

One of my favorite Milagrans expressed how it feels to be forty by flipping her double birds. I can’t wait for that. It feels so close. Because it is one thing to decide who you are and it’s another (wonderful and exciting) thing to decide you don’t care a whole lot what anyone thinks about it.

Cheers to freedom, you guys. It’s about to get SO MUCH FUN.


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