The Twelve Days of Ebony

On the first day of Ebony my true love gave to me…

A promise.

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By the way, my true love is me, and it took years for me to love myself enough to demand the best, not only from myself…but from others.

As a child, my birthday was serious business. I spent months counting down to my big day, and the countdown began again the day AFTER my birthday. 

That changed on my 36th trip around the sun. 

I woke up to an empty house on my 36th birthday.  No husband.  No children.  Just me. 

It was at the end of a marriage I thought was great until I was blindsided with news that my ex-husband was leaving me.

It was the beginning of a cycle of depression that would lead me to attempt ending my life two weeks later. I thank God every day for not allowing me to succeed.

On the eve my 37th birthday, I made a big deal out of celebrating with friends…only to wake up next to someone who didn’t care to celebrate me or my birthday.  I spent the early hours of my 37th birthday crying and then spent the rest of the day pretending to be unbothered. 

I was more than bothered.

I was desperate.

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I was giving my all to everyone but myself.

After a disastrous 40th birthday where, once again, I went un-celebrated, I had to ask myself a serious question.

Was I willing to continue being everything to people who couldn’t find it in their hearts to be ONE thing for me?

The one thing I needed was presence.  I needed that presence on one particular day.

It wasn’t too much to ask.

I shouldn’t have had to ask.

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I look back on my 40th birthday with sadness, even now as I’m on the cusp of turning 46.

On that day, I made a promise to myself.  I promised myself that I would love myself enough to celebrate ME…and while others were welcome to join me…it wasn’t required…and it didn’t matter.

But it did matter.

It mattered because there are millions of people in this world who base their love of self on how they are received by others.

I used to be one of those people.

Now I truly understand what George Benson meant when he sang, “Learning to love yourself…it is the greatest love of all.”

I truly love myself now.  I celebrate every day I have breath in my body.  I celebrate every obstacle I’ve overcome, and for the past 6 years, I’ve spent the first twelve days of December publicly celebrating the day I graced the Earth with my brilliant presence.

I call it The Twelve Days of Ebony and, this year I plan to celebrate by writing a special blog each day leading up to my 46th birthday on December 12th.

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Some people are looking forward to this celebration.

Some people dread the very thought of it. (They think I’m being extra.)

I love myself enough to enjoy it for all of us.

You’re welcome.