Life update: what I did on my birthday

Another year older, and… wiser? I figured I was due a little life update, especially considering I took last month off – and unfortunately not because I was on vacation on a tropical island somewhere far away without internet, no. Last month, life happened.

I am the type of person who loves their birthday. I count the days until July 24th as soon as spring arrives. I usually say the entire month of July is my birthday, and I mention it to whoever is around me.
However, this year things were a bit different. The month of July started out rough, with my knee getting injured while running and had to go to several physiotherapy appointments. The pain I felt was agonizing, and the fact that I was almost “home-bound” for weeks was hard on someone like me who loves to be active.
Following that, my sweet sweet baby girl Tink got seriously sick and spent days and nights at the animal hospital hooked up to machines and getting treatment. The vet had diagnosed a mass on her organ and we did all we could to make sure it wasn’t a tumor – and thank GOD it wasn’t. But needless to say that was a hell of a week (no pun intended). If you have a (fur) baby, you know how painful it is to see them in pain and not be able to take it away yourself. The feeling of being completely useless in a situation like this drove me sick (add to that the fact that I wasn’t able to release ANY anxiety since I wasn’t able to work out…).
At the exact same time, my grand mother (and last grand parent alive) passed away. We were expecting it, she had been fighting cancer for a while and was being defeated, but that doesn’t make things much easier. The hardest part was the fact that I wasn’t able to be there with my family since everything was happening back home in Belgium and I had to stay here to take care of Tink who desperately needeed me. The simple thought of “I don’t have grand parents anymore” was enough to make me break down in tears.

A lot of other things went wrong throughout the month, and even though they were much smaller in comparison they just piled on and I burned out. I just couldn’t keep up with life, I was exhausted, and I just wanted to catch a break. 

So I decided to “forget” my birthday this year. I still had dinner with some girl friends on the night of July 24th, but I just wasn’t up to anything else. I did do one thing to mark the day: I chopped off my hair and donated it to the Canadian Cancer Society (the program is called “Pantene Beautiful Lengths”). Having lost many people in my life to cancer, I just wanted to give back in any way I could. I cut 30cm and donated it, crossing my fingers it will help someone in need.
If my birthday had to mean something this year, I wanted it to mean hope. Hope for me, hope for everyone. Hope that life can get tough, but you can hold on and you can get through it. Hope that if the weight of the world seems to fall on you at the same time, you can still stand up and keep moving. Hope that no matter how much you cry yourself to sleep at night, you can still wake up and manage to smile the next morning.

Just thought I would write all this down, not because I am asking for pity or compassion, but only to remind myself in the future of what I have gone through and what life has thrown at me. Eventually, things are bound to turn around – and while I am still waiting for the tables to turn for me, I know they will and I can’t wait! Here’s to hoping I didn’t just jinxed myself 🙂

Now on a slightly lighter note:

I wore this outfit on my birthday dinner – and loved it! First of all, give me anything pink and I will be happy. But with my new haircut, I just felt completely new and fresh and will always remember how good I felt putting the dress on and going out that night. 
PS: we went to eat pasta, and this dress was basically God sent! No food babies showing (for once).


Dress: Chicwish (wearing size XS) // Bag: Le Chateau // Shoes: Le Chateau (wearing size 38) // Necklace: Baublebar

Photo credit: Michelle Kehoe