What I Want From You For a Birthday Present

Oh my, it’s May.

Do you know what that means?

It’s my birthday!

And this year, I celebrate 40 fantastic years.

For whatever reason, I tend to attract people who ask me how old I am. It’s not uncommon, in fact, for perfect strangers to ask my age.

Just yesterday I met a woman at an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) workshop in London I was attending, and within 10 minutes, she asked my age.

I used to take offense to this. If I don’t know someone well, I file their age under the category of “none of my beeswax.”

But I’ve decided that the reason people are eager to know my age is because I look young, and my ideas are wise. What else could it be!? 🙂

Since my last birthday, it’s been another wild year of great change. I moved to another new country, got pregnant, and transitioned my new career to full-time.

I’m not sure what I would do if my life wasn’t changing rapidly. Maybe I’d be happier, or maybe I’d go crazy. One of these years, I’ll try it.

Being in London on my 40th birthday generated some introspection. Seeing smartly dressed people walking with determination to work with gym bags slung over their shoulders reminded me of my old life.

I used to be that person – wearing the nice suit, gym clothes stuffed into a bag, hustling to the office. For a minute, I missed that old self. It was a predictable time. I showed up to work, I had a set of colleagues, and I received a paycheck and recognition for what I did.

Now I’m a life and career coach, but I’m also a small business owner. I create my own schedule, I find my own colleagues, my days are unpredictable, and I work a hell of a lot harder for my paychecks. But in missing my old life, I realized that no payback is large or steady enough for me to return to it.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with going to work in a smart suit with your gym clothes in a duffel bag. Many people are happy and content doing just that, but I wasn’t.

I love being an entrepreneur because I’m always searching for new things to learn, new people with whom to connect, and new methods for helping people to pursue their passion. This means I’m constantly swimming in waters I’ve never swum in before.

It’s tough. It’s exhausting. It’s relentless. And I have periodic urges to quit.

Then, a day roles around when everything clicks in place. I have a schedule full of fascinating clients, I meet an inspiring person with whom to collaborate, or I learn an innovative new technique.

In these moments, I realize that it’s all part of the joy of pursuing my passion. The struggles are, in fact, part of the joy. The struggles are how I most learn and grow, and that’s the juiciest part of the journey.

So if you have a passion burning in your belly, but you think you’re too old, too poor, with too many responsibilities, or too inexperienced, then think again.

The world needs what you have to offer. There are people out there – your people – waiting for it.

It doesn’t have to be full-time. It doesn’t have to be something you do for money. But it does have to be something that you love and feel called to do – something that fills you with energy and joy.

So on my 40th birthday, I can say for the first time in my life that I spend each and every day pursuing my passion. It doesn’t mean every day is easy, but it does mean I love it anyway.

My birthday wish is for you to do the same: to pursue the things that mean the most to you.

If you’re already pursuing your passion, I challenge you to persevere. If you’re thinking about pursing your passion, I challenge you to take a tiny action to start today.

Don’t kick the can down the road or say, “I’m too [fill in the blank] to pursue my passion.” Just start.

I’d love to know, what’s your passion? Post a comment below.


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8 replies
  1. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    My passion is to travel and experience another culture. So excited to reflect on my 1 month anniversary in Spain reading your blog post. Happy birthday my dear!

    • Allyson
      Allyson says:

      Thank you, Jenni! I’m so excited for you and your great adventure in Espana. I look forward to linking up soon. XOXO

  2. Ellen Chestnut
    Ellen Chestnut says:

    Happy Birthday Allyson! Hope I didn’t lose track of a country move in there. My passion is to find happiness inside myself and for every person to find the same. I believe this will assist peace and exploration.

    • Allyson
      Allyson says:

      Thank you, dear friend. I’ve been thinking about you often. How are you? We moved back to Belgium (Brussels) from Oslo last September. I love your passion! Beautiful! XOXO

  3. Emilian
    Emilian says:

    Hi, happy birthday, I know it’s late but still I want to wish you the best!
    My passion are stories, wheter reading or writing them, and drawing.

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