It was my 35th birthday on the weekend.
I don’t particularly know yet how I feel about it… maybe because I haven’t written about it yet. Things get clearer when I do.
Firstly, I’m not concerned about getting older. My grandmother taught me many good lessons, but one of the big ones was that it is an honour to grow older when so many don’t. Another being that “old” is very much relative. At the age of 97, she would often call people in their 70s “young whippersnappers.” To her, 35 was positively embryonic.
Plus, I figure that for a woman to have a freakout about turning 35 is a reflection of patriarchal bullshit, so I refuse to spend any time as a mirror.
What I do feel however is a certain amount more surety in my bones, and a greater understanding of the weight of my decisions. I believe these are good things.
And it’s also juxtaposed with worrying whether I will get too jaded, cynical, worn out. Sometimes it feels like growing older is wading through a checklist of tragedies and pain to experience.
So THAT is what it feels like to have a friend’s husband commit suicide. Stunning. Painful. Restless sleep for days. Breathless with helplessness. Scrambling to do anything I can to can, knowing that I can’t fix the one thing that is most needed. How does one sing a body back to life again?
At 35, my wish for the coming year is to become more stoic. To deepen my emotional resilience. To rise, and rise again. To grow my roots further into the earth. To not be blown about quite so much. To learn how to create and share with the world without it breaking my heart.
I am 35. I am a mother of two: a sensitive fae who took years to arrive in her body in the world, and a courageous elf who arrived fully present. I’m a wife of one: my Scorpio twin I have loved almost exactly half my life, a man who is in my eyes both almighty Zeus + trembling human. I currently spend most of my days homeschooling, with slivers of time carved out to build businesses. My heart lives in art + writing. I haven’t done much of that lately, so immersed I have been in the world of my kids. I know the pendulum will change though. I will never regret devoting my time to them.
Last night, as a birthday present for the two of us, I surprised my love with tickets to see Michael Leunig speak.
If you don’t know who Leunig is, allow me the joy of introducing you to his lyrical, irreverent, delicious work:
2017 really does seem to be my miracle year for being able to witness some of my favourite creatives in person: James Taylor (I wrote about meeting him here), Amanda Fucking Palmer + now Leunig.
Leunig is one part writer, one part comic, one part philosopher.
He shared so tenderly about what it is to be a human and a creative, and how so much of his personal questioning is summed up by Winnicott, a psychoanalyst:
“In the artist of all kinds one can detect an inherent dilemma which belongs to the co-existence of two trends; the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found.”
And despite being “just a comic who draws ducks”, Leunig has copped so much criticism and hate mail over many of his comics, especially for his stance against wars.
When it came for questions, I got up:
“Michael, thank you for your art and words. How do you keep turning up and sharing with an open, vulnerable heart when you have had such a massive amount of shit thrown at you?”
This was his response:
Afterwards, I consumed vast amounts of mini-quiches, invented a truly horrific wine and orange juice concoction, and snogged Dawsy on the balcony overlooking a Canberra so stunningly picturesque I could have sworn she was trying to seduce us both.
I feel blessed by these moments of great clarity. To sit at the feet of someone who has created fearlessly for 50 years, through sun + tsunami + wild winds, to share his heart anyway.
In other news…
I’m in the mood for sharing + teaching about essential oil magic this month... so I’ve created a bunch of free webinars for you to dive into their magic… specifically about productivity, immunity, cooking, lo-tox skin care and lo-tox cleaning.
How to get my free essential oil webinars!
Just jump into my Essential Oils with Leonie Dawson Facebook group to find all my free essential oil webinars happening this month. (You can find them under the Events tab.)
The first one is in 12 hours from now… would be so lovely to see your faces <3
And… new free gift coming for you this week!
The goodie that is coming has been asked for again + again over the years and I’m delighted with how it’s turned out… so I’m muchos excited to share with you.
In the meantime, there is handmade chocolate mint fudge to consume, vast quantities of herbal tea to imbibe + some The Good Place to binge-watch.
With love + joy,
a brand-new 35 year old!