It’s My Birthday Yo! Here’s What I Want From You.

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It’s my birthday. My hair is messy. The sound seems to be off. But it’s my birthday, and perfection isn’t one of my values, so that’s what you get. Here’s a little video about what I want for my birthday, from you. My life is vastly different than what I thought it would be today. Is yours?



In the comments below, be sure to tell me 1) how old you are, and 2) whether your life is what you thought it would be at your age. Then go out and fulfill my birthday wishes!!


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Read 32 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. Grish

    Happy Birthday!!! 
    I am 31 years old! 
    What I thought my life would be: I thought it would be average. Married to someone I liked, with a couple kids, living in the suburbs, working as a pharmacist at a place I hated, and sad that I would never be able to pack up, buy a one way ticket and travel internationally for a year ever again. 
    Where I am: I am married to the best, most loving and kind man I know, I have a 15 month old who has renewed my faith in the universe, I am a SAHM and starting my own business as a health coach who helps people transition to whatever level of vegan they are comfortable with, and we’re going to checking out Raleigh, NC for 3 months in the fall for a possible move from Boston. We may not be able to bounce from city to city every week with a kid, but we can go for extended periods and check out different cities. If we don’t like Raleigh, we have four other cities to hit up afterwards! I’m more alive and happier today then when I was at 25! I love my life and never thought I would be so passionate about anything or want to be a SAHM. My life isn’t perfect (and I don’t want it to be), but not a day goes by that I’m not knocked back by how amazing and full of love my life is!

  2. EllenErcolini

    Feliz cumple!!  I’m 29, and honestly, I don’t think I really ever thought about what life would be like at 29.  Oh sure, by 30 I’d have a husband and baby in the future, but 29 was never attached to any milestone markers like that.  When I turned 25 I was volunteering in rural Paraguay, single, not planning on heading home anytime soon, no job, and I freaked.the.fuck.out.  Hard.  One of the worst self-doubting meltdowns of my life.  And I called my sister, for $2 a minute crappy long distance, and she broke it down for me.  “Ellen, you never do anything on anyone else’s timeline, why would you start now? You’ve always been on your own track.”
    And that’s how I feel.  I’m on my own timeline, living life the only way I know how.  Hustling, changing lives, walking my dog.  I am so GRATEFUL that you are part of my life now.  So much win.  Happy birthday to you.

  3. skindred

    So, I’ll be 58 on Thursday (go Aires :) … Am I where I thought I’d be?  Oh, absolutely not.  About 6 years ago I moved to Virginia.  I’d lived in Dallas for more than 40 years.  I’d done the school thing, the marriage thing, the baby thing, and then suddenly I realized I didn’t know who I was when I wasn’t wearing one of those hats.  I always wanted to live in Virginia (who knows why :) … but here I am.  My Virginia license plate reads:  FNLY VA.  It takes tremendous courage to live the life you want to life and the one you were meant to live and I’m so happy for you that you’re doing it now.  It’s much harder to do when you wait until your 50.  So, in addition to setting my son free to live his life (he’s 24 and lives in Colorado) and to creating a new life for myself, I’m also breaking free of the conventional job stereotypes and am in the middle of starting my own business for the first time ever.  No steady paycheck, no health insurance, no clearly illuminated path.  Am I nervous about it?  Yes.  Am I confident that I’ll succeed?  No.  Am I going for it anyway?  Oh, hell yes.  And, I’m working on my Spanish.  Not like you are, but studying just the same.  Enjoy your new life!  And Happy Birthday!

  4. freedomwalker

    Love this video! I’ll be sharin’ it with mi amigos.
    I am 52 years old. 
    If someone had told me 5 years ago that I’d be living a life consisting of both intrinsic and extrinsic freedom,  I would have absolutely denied it. In fact, I would have looked at that version of me and boldly stated “this woman needs some help to get some stability in her life.”  At 49 I was in my 25th year of marriage to an amazing man, months away from owning our beautiful well appointed home free and clear, and once that was accomplished, we would fuel our efforts towards further building our retirement fund so we could live our golden years comfortably. I had a sweet job that paid well with lots of flexibility and I was “living the dream.” Or was I? While walking to a sacred site in Peru on Feb 14 2010 I stopped and spoke aloud to no one in particular “I have to go home and leave my marriage.” I couldn’t believe those words had just come out of my mouth and yet they had. Probably one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done was leave my marriage upon returning home, along with my job and everything that for 25+ years represented love, safety and freedom.
    My current life contains a great deal of uncertainty but the discomfort that I feel from this doesn’t come close to the self-dislike I felt living a life that wasn’t authentically me. I have no regrets for my past or the people who are so very important and have left imprints in my life. I spent 30 years with a wonderful, amazing man and I have a 26 year old son who I adore and am so very proud of – I love them both very much. 
    Life isn’t happening to me, it’s happening for me. What an amazing gift to wake up to each and every day!
    Happy Birthday!!

  5. SuzanAcker

    Happy Birthday Rebecca. Thanks for thinking of all of us on your special day. I turned 40 this January and haven’t really thought about where I thought I would be at this age – so thank you for asking. 
    When I was in my twenties I thought that in my forties I would be married with two children, be working as a teacher in an elementary school in either Quebec or Ontario and have many close friends and family living in close proximity to me. 
    Where have I ended up? I was married to a good man and had twin girls with my first husband. Things just didn’t work out and we got a divorce which was extremely difficult. But then things turned around and I fell in love again. I married Scott, a man with two boys, and now we live together as a blended family in Ontario with four children. We only have the kids 50% of the time – which is difficult at times but actually quite good for my life. Even though I only see my children part of the time, I love my life. When my kids are with their alternate parent I have alone, romantic time with my wonderful husband. So, I feel fulfilled and balanced. I started my own business and work from home in Ottawa Ontario and have a 10 month old sweet Weimaraner puppy. Life is good.
    I don’t know where I’ll be at sixty, but I know I can’t go wrong if I listen to and follow my heart.

  6. Tracy Mc

    Hi Becca,
    Happy Birthday!  
    I am 43.  I knew I always wanted to be married and have children and I am and I do, but I question now whether I really wanted that or if I wanted it because that’s what we’re supposed to want.  I LOVE being a mother and I always had that drive so it is very fulfilling.  I think though I thought by now my life would be bigger, in the sense that I would have made more of a name for myself, that I would be farther along my path of contributing something meaningful to the world in terms of a book or a practice (coaching or counselling) etc.  I’ve always had the sense that we never truly ‘arrive’ and can hang up our hat and say great, checked that off now I’m done and I’m going fishing.  I always felt that life is a learning and growing process from beginning to end and that no matter what age I was at I would always be in that process.  I never imagined how much I would learn from my children or from being a mother and I know that will continue.  So now I am in the process of letting go what I thought it was going to look like, or what I would have produced by now career wise, and am just letting it unfold.  Letting it unfold is not passive by any means, as I am now very tuned into pursuing the things that truly align with my purpose and passion, and I let what comes of that unfold, being unattached to outcomes.  What I’ve noticed is that what i get  way better than what I thought would happen.

  7. Happy birthday, fellow Aries!  I’ll be – gulp/sigh?/yeah! – 49 on Sunday. 
    Quite frankly, I never pictured what my life could possibly be so far down the line.  I have always been a go-with-the-flow kind of girl until I hit 29 and thought “Oh my God. I’m not married” so I stupidly married the guy I was with (that lasted a whole 17 months!) and then tried to imagine what my life could be and, as we were never encouraged to actually dream about something out of the ordinary I just coasted along… met a great guy, got pregnant at 31 (‘coz you can still be foolish at 31), had a son who only stayed on earth for a mere 8 months; wondered… OK, now what do we do?  We decided that yes, we did want a family together so two more boys followed and now, here I am, 15 years later, wondering what I want to be when I grow up! 
    That said, I’ve had dreams that were kept buried deep and never had the courage to actually look into or even believe could come true. They are now coming forth because I just can’t keep going with the current flow.  I’m “dying” in my current circumstances and, if I allow everyone around me to convince me, will continue until it’s reality.  I’ve decided – with or without hubby’s encouragement – to make those dreams happen – to make them a reality! 
    Thanks for this post. It’s people like you who are keeping me on the path towards success.

  8. Happy Birthday!  
    In my heart, I am sometimes 7, sometimes 24, and in World I am 42, and I love it.  To me, age is a number to assist others in figuring out how to connect and communicate; yet, I feel it is the energy of light and essence that I connect with, and I am *not at all good* with figuring out age.  Not even close. 
    My life now is a little as I thought it would be…I knew I would be a mother, and I am…I knew I would live adventure, and I am.  I don’t quite live “the adventure” yet (which is sailing around the world), but I am living my heart whispers and allowing them to guide me as they unfold…I have *no idea* where they will lead, and that is usually fun and exciting and peaceful (until an outsider reminds me that mothers don’t do “this”….what is this? work online, teach presence, be present??? not sure…)….My life is far different than I thought it would be, and far more joyful and free than I knew possible for me.  And, my children live infinite possibility, reflecting to me all that they have learned, and express in their own way–my heart overflows with gratitude and love…

  9. Happy Birthday!  I’m 52 and if you asked me 10 years ago I’d be living on my own farm raising alpacas, I’d have said you were crazy but here I am.  No I’ not living the dream I had 10 years ago because I exceeded those dreams a long time ago.  What scares me now is keeping this life moving forward and growing to even greater heights.  Starting my own business and farm is way out of my comfort zone and it is plain hard work that I absolutely adore.  Every penny is more than earned in this business.  Discovering new ways to make ends meet is challenging and anxiety provoking.  There are times when I think it would be wiser to just go find a day job with a steady income again but the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach so I keep plugging along trying to find ways of making this a viable and economically successful business.  I have to admit, when I was 32, I felt much older then I do now at 52 since I have given up the notion of following the path others expected of me and jumped into the life I was meant to go after.  I just found that stepping into this new life has meant having more doors to open and explore.  It hasn’t made life easier if anything it has made it harder but I do enjoy it more and I guess that is what counts.

  10. Mazz17

    Hi Becca, Happy Birthday !!!! I am
    Marion and where I though I would be in my life when I was younger , I remember
    I was saying at 28, I would be married with 2 kids and a nice career. It turns
    out I am now an unsettled 30 years old girl, not married no kids, even no urge
    or desire to have some, quiting my 5th permanent job, changing country every
    2-3 years, and still wondering about life , about my next projects and
    basically about who I am. Like you, I am not a standard “fit in”
    society person, however over sociable, but I leave to others their ” gold
    jails” of wedding or buying a house… I am with somebody I love and we
    both feel free about life. I feel like I am still looking for something before
    to be able to “settle” one day if it has to happen. But above all, I
    learned that as soon as you follow your heart and inner gut about your next
    setps, like basically what you are saying in the video, everything is fine, at
    least as it should be for today. I dont have anything strictly planned for the
    next 5 or 10 years, just trying to do what I love more, travelling, dancing,
    and starting a blog about existencial life topics…and by the way, trying to
    get out definitly of a 9 to 5 job as I didnt achieved yet… but optimistic
    about that. I learned that having pre-defined goals can lead to great
    frustration and helplessness, better to chose a direction and see where you end
    up after few steps. Enjoy your day, your night an your trip!!!!! xxx Marion

  11. rmo719

    Feliz Cumpleanos Mamacita! Being that I apparently change my mind every few years on “what I want to do/be”, I decided a while back to change the question to “what do I want to do/be for the next year or two?”  The idea that we must decide as a young adult what singular career to pursue is re-donk.  How limiting! How claustrophobic!   Thus, I never gave much thought to the long term as I figured whatever I felt at the time was assuredly going to evolve and change.  If I found something and wanted to do it longer than a few years, then I’d arrange for that actuality.  For the past few years that year or two window involved staying local (Philly, USA) and fulfilling some familial responsibilities while saving to travel on another semi-extended through a continent I had yet to visit…. 
    Happy to report, here I am at 31 and I’m leaving in early June for 3 months traveling around South America, followed by 3 months working on a farm in California, followed by 3 months traveling in Central America.  While I kinda thought by 31 I’d be closer to financial security, I never really put an ounce of brain matter into accomplishing that.  So, while away on this excursion, one of my plans is to be intentional with regard to creating a sustainable income that is able to supplement the vagabondish lifestyle that I’ve learned I too cannot deny…  
    In summation, I think I’m probably right where I thought I’d be a few years ago, only with less duckets in pockets…

  12. SimoneSamuels

    HPBD!! Love your birthday sentiments and couldn’t agree with you more! To be honest, when I was younger, I used to think that being in my 30s was when I would be a  proper grown up and owuld have everything sorted. If I wasn’t married by 30, my (male) best friend and I promised each other (when we were 21 years old) that we would marry each other just for the sake of it. We both laugh about this now! The ideals of our 20s were just so skewed! If I knew then, that at 35 years old I would be living and working in Indonesia, building a passion business in my free time, so that I can live my life out of the box and with freedom, and that I would be getting married to the love of my life who is also of the same entrepreneurial mindset as me, wanting to live our life on our terms and not someone else, then I never would have believed it to be true. I’ve never really wanted to live my life in a normal way. I have lived abroad for almost all of the past 13 years, and have never beein in one job for more than 3 years. I don’t think I could ever be back in Australia, living the way that the majority do, it would bore me to death and I love the challenges and the growth that happens from living abroad and immersing myself in new cultures. I love that I have friends all over the world, many who I know I could drop on their doorstep unannounced at any time of day or night and that I would be welcomed with open arms. I love my life, probably more than I ever imagined I would when in my 20s, although I have always embraced wherever I am with enthusiasm, so maybe this really is exactly where I am meant to be and was always destined to end up :-)

  13. Just stumbled upon your site and I wish you a very Happy Birthday filled with much continued JOY and LOVE for life! I just turned 34 and I am not a settle down or settle for type of girl. With that said- I did marry an awesome partner in crime on this amazing journey when I was 26 and we now have a almost 2 year old little boy. We met at a pub in London, studied in England and China together, lived in Costa Rica, spent a couple months in Australia stargazing on sacred Aboriginal land learning while being gifted with their wisdom, and backpacked through many other countries-together. We tried the whole “settle down” thing lately and even have a mini-labradoodle now (no regrets there!), but that’s just not WHO we are. We love other cultures, walking through the rain, soaking up the sun on secluded beaches and challenging ourselves every day! It’s not always easy like you said- it would be easier if we did get a mortgage, “regular” jobs, and certainly would make our parents feel more “comfortable”. But one of our vows to each other is to support the other to be the truest expression of themselves- and that’s what we are doing. I too, am a huge believer in living life to the fullest- as cliche as it seems- it is the happiest way I know to live. Keep Rockin it!

  14. AnneHayman

    hey! I just watched your video. happy birthday lady! I feel ya on the
    still feeling 24, I’m 38 now. man, it’s amazing to hear that you feel
    the same way that I do. It is only in the last couple years that I am
    settling down.
    You remind me so much of myself. I have always done
    everything I have wanted to do, without hesitation. moved out at 16,
    left Detroit for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at 17, traveled cross
    country in the back of a truck with a backpack at 19, lost my shoes
    going over the Mississippi bridge on my way to California. I lived in my
    VW van, and then a motorhome. I decided to go live on a homestead in
    northern California for a year. no electricity or running water… I
    traveled alot for a long time, never feeling like I could chill, always
    wanting more experience… the only thing that made me settle down was
    my fibro!
    When I started to get sick in 2007, I knew I needed to
    come home to Michigan. I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I
    knew I liked to read books, and write in my journal, and take pics, and
    hang out, and travel, and make art, and be free… I never wanted to
    have a job {i just couldn’t}, so I sold my jewelry and my art from the
    time i was 18. Plus my dad supported me when I needed it. I was kinda
    spoiled. I secretly always thought I would die young so I better just
    enjoy my life as long as i could. weird, right? well, I’m 38, and I’m
    glad I did it all when I was young, because I can’t do much physically
    anymore. {sad face} how did I instinctively know I would get sick? or
    did I create it with the limiting belief that I held for some reason?
    either way, it is a gift in a way, I have definitely gotten more
    connected. That being one of my major why’s. :)

  15. OMG – SO many followup comments coming from me for each and every one of you, but just wanted to quickly say that this comment thread ROCKS!!!! Thank you so much to everyone who shared their stories! xoxox

  16. AnneHayman Thanks you so much for sharing Anne! It looks like you have created a pretty great life by taking pics, writing, making art :) Maybe that’s all there is to life :)

  17. kate loukes Kate, I LOVE that you have created a partnership that lets you both be the truest form of yourselves. That’s not always easy to do, and it sounds like it’s working amazing for you guys! Here’s to many more years of wanderlust ;)

  18. SimoneSamuels well duh – of COURSE it was always destined to be this way! Thanks so much for sharing Simone! xo

  19. rmo719 Haha thanks for sharing. I can totallyyyyy relate. It was always about “how can I make money to travel”. And through  the exploration of that is how I found something that felt sustainable for me. can’t wait to see what you dream up for biz ideas while you’re inspired by all the amazing places you’re going!

  20. Mazz17 Thanks Marion! You’re SO right – it’s all about just doing more of what you love. Yes, at some point you might need money to live, but I believe we are ALL creative enough to figure that part out when the time comes ;)

  21. HumSweetHum no fucking way – alpacas! Are you the one that supplies the internet with all the adorable alpaca memes these days!? What a great life you’ve built for yourself! xo

  22. JoyChristin AMAZING. That is all. xo

  23. dalerog Wow, thanks for sharing this.
    You’ve GOTTA surround yourself with people who support and encourage you dreams. Get a coach, a mastermind group, meetups with people who feel the same way. It’s the only way to not feel like a crazy person when you tell people what you want :)

  24. Tracy Mc That’s amazing Tracy , i have no doubt motherhood changes your world upside down. And i Love this “what i get is way better than what i thought would happen” xo

  25. SuzanAcker life DOES sound good, so happy for you Suzan!

  26. freedomwalker You are one courageous woman. It takes serious guts and TRUST to leave safety behind and move towards a life that is more unknown. Kudos to you. Thank you for the birthday wishes!

  27. skindred Happybirthday!!!

  28. EllenErcolini Super excited for the year ahead with you Ellen! x

  29. Grish Thank you so much for sharing! Best of luck with your business ! x

  30. dalerog

    Rebecca Tracey dalerog That’s exactly what I’m doing!  Did some coaching and have to find myself a group of like-minded individuals… Thanks!

  31. JayaLakshmi

    Ohh My God!!Rebecca, you are literally changing my life like now!!! I am going to be 20 in like 4 days……and watching this, reading all the comments following and reading some of yor other posts………I just cant elll you how many things are being stirred in my heart and how much stuff is being cleared in my head!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just lots of thanks!!!!!and lots more wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. JayaLakshmi Awwww so great to hear girl!! xo