birthday buddies

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. This isn’t terribly unusual, thanks to two little people who love nothing more than middle-of-the-night check-ins. But what was unusual was that today is my birthday. And so, like all self-respecting birthday girls, I did the only thing you should do when you find yourself awake at 3:30am on your birthday…I opened Google to see what celebrities shared my birthday.

Kendall Jenner. Colin Kaepernick. Anna Wintour.

I looked at this list, and I thought, “huh.” That’s an interesting list. There was no denying that everyone on the list had pretty strong personalities. Pretty sure of themselves. Okay with being known for fighting for causes that mean something to them. Perhaps not always universally loved? Huh.

I mulled this over for a good long time. Who are we, these people of November 3rd? Does having a strong personality make us bad people? Or do we just get things done? Make the tough decisions? The truth is, for much of my life, I’ve worried about my strong personality. I used to do this weird thing when I was younger (definitely not now!) where I would imagine people I knew describing me: “Nicole is so sweet.” I always wanted to be considered sweet. But people don’t call me sweet. They do call me when they need someone to get something done. So that’s good, right? Maybe.

Rosanne Barr was on our list too. I wanted to leave that off. I really did. But she’s there, no denying it. That’s why I worry sometimes. Because we November 3rd-ers get things done, but we ruffle feathers too. And some of us are just…well, Rosanne.

So I guess the point is that, this year, a couple of years into my thirties, it might just be time to stop expecting someone to use the line “Nicole is sweet”. To be okay with it and embrace the fact that strong is just as good as sweet. To know you can have opinions and still show grace, be a go-getter and still find balance, and that you can be a born on 11/3 and still not be Rosanne. Hope is a beautiful thing.