So if you look below, you’ll see an image of a Ladurée Pyramid. If you aren’t familiar with Ladurée, they are a luxury macaron company. Basically tiny (very pricey) morsels of heaven. And these pyramids are sometimes substituted for cakes at all sorts of incredible events.
I’ve been admiring these pyramids since I first lived near a Ladurée shop when I was studying in London. And I remember saying to myself, four years ago, “I want one of those at my wedding.”
What the hell was wrong with my social conditioning? Why did I think the only reason I could have the beautiful, elegant, gorgeous thing that I dreamed about having was if I was bound to another person for life? Was there really nothing else in my life worth celebrating with this that I could achieve on my own? Why did it require another person to validate my success in order to be worthy of this confection?
This occurred to me this morning as I was looking for something to post on Instagram for my birthday. I like cake on occasion, but I’ve never been a huge fan. Cupcakes? I kind of feel the same. I'm more of a savory/cheese/bread addict (if any of you feel me on this?). But then this confection popped into my head…and I found the perfect image. See below. And I started wondering why I had never considered celebrating anything in my own life or any of my own accomplishments with one of these, but just the act of finding another person. That goes against everything I’m trying to show you guys on this blog and the way I'm choosing to live my life now.
Coincidentally, I got a birthday card from an extended relative in the mail this morning. That in and of itself would not be coincidental (it’s my birthday and she sends a card every year), but the message included was interesting. She had included a Visa gift card and a message explaining that she and another relative had decided that it was time to include me in a family tradition, wherein children in the family stop receiving gifts from (at the very least, extended) family on their birthday once they’re adults. Interesting timing, considering I’m twenty-four. But I guess I'm an adult now! The gift card was a sweet gesture to say goodbye to the gift giving. But actually, I kind of saw her message as a sign reinforcing what I’m saying to all of you here.
At some point, everyone else in your life becomes unreliable, and you can’t count on them. You cannot count on anyone else to provide your happiness for you, or celebrate what is meaningful to you. And you shouldn’t. We’re independent. This isn’t the 1920s. Even my married friends that I look up to always say that they love their spouse but don’t count on them to provide their whole happiness. You need to provide that for yourself, and celebrate yourself.
I used to feel guilty about this. When I say used to, that’s not totally accurate. I felt guilty about this as recently as yesterday afternoon. My closest local friend and I made plans to go get cocktails at my favorite local bar (the only place I’ll ever order a cocktail, I’m a wine and beer girl really). But I felt bad about the idea of celebrating myself. Considering working all day felt a lot more safe to me. I actually received a job offer for tonight, unsolicited, earlier this week. It took a ton of willpower for me to turn it down, which showed me where I still have work to do. The idea of taking even one day away from trying to build my business and do other work that I don't enjoy, but that provides me with funds to contribute to building my business just seemed wrong. But in my heart, I knew it was right. So I forced myself to do it. Self-love isn’t always easy. In fact, for most of us, who weren’t taught self-love growing up, it’s really incredibly fucking difficult. It’s not (just) about bubble baths and delicious chocolate and affirmations. It’s about making the decisions that a person who actually loves herself would make while you work on becoming that person. This is work we'll be doing for the rest of our lives, that will serve us in every single area of our existence.
You, in and of yourself, are worthy of celebration. Your accomplishments and your existence. I’m not going to tell you to stop feeling guilt, because your emotions are valid and you are entitled to experience all of them. But I do encourage you to work on your self-love. It will carry you to much better places.
So I’ve made a decision, here and now, and I want to be held accountable. When I officially, officially launch my business, I’m celebrating with a Ladurée Pyramid. A very small one, probably, but I will have one. And any other birthdays I choose. I hope you celebrate yourself as I work on doing the same.