I have always been weird about birthdays.
I love a good audience, don’t get me wrong. Being the center of attention is generally not my problem. But for some reason, birthdays can rub me the wrong way.
I think it’s because it always makes me reflect on everything I’ve done in the last 365 and because I’m eternally pushing for the next big thing, I never seem to feel good about what I’ve accomplished.
It isn’t fair to myself, but I am my own biggest enemy. I am dramatic, overreactive, and incredibly critical of everything I’ve done. Slipping into a common theme of, “Yes, that was cool but…”. Forever shorting myself of any accolades in deference to feeling like eventually I’ll have accomplished something, just not yet.
I didn’t have crazy parents that caused me to be forever self-deprecating, and I’ve known successes but still, I am the first to undercut my own compliments. So, with that said, turning 30 has been particularly rough.
Honestly, the last two weeks have snuck up on me because I’ve been ears deep in projects at work and school always haunts any semblance of peace I may or may not scrape up from the end of my days. So really, I haven’t had much time to feel much about my birthday, until today.
In the last year, I was incredibly blessed. Yas, queen. Too blessed, to be stressed*.
* This is a lie. I was incredibly stressed because I was busy, and that’s that.
But regardless, I’m going to count my gifts in my 29th year because nothing tastes better on the tongue than some gratitude. And pie. Pie tastes good on the tongue.
- Our WEDDING! Holy guacamole. Our wedding was stressful to plan and no I wouldn’t want to do it again (kudos to you ladies who love that process!), but it was worth every damn raindrop. The day alone was magical. Spending it with my favorite gals in a cabin on the lake, laughing, listening to music, eating carbs like I didn’t have to sit in a dress all night and consequently marring my best friend kind of constitutes as the best thing ever. I wasn’t stressed for the first time in 8 months and it was glorious. That was glorious and honestly, I’ll just post about that separately because it was too good not to keep talking about for the next thousand years.
- My friend’s weddings! Okay so first of all, our friends Katie & Ben are the sweetest humans of all time. Seriously, Ben gives the best hugs and Katie just makes your heart happy whenever you’re with her. So the fact that we celebrated their union in Mexico was glorious. How often does a troupe of like 30 people who are bonded for life get to take trip to Mexico and have unlimited Miami vices while celebrating love? Not often enough, I’ll tell ya that much. Bonus? Oh, it was my first time in Mexico AND it was over my birthday. We were on a catamaran you guys. A catamaran. BLESSED.
- My Best Friend’s Wedding. Okay, if you think one trip to Mexico is enough for a year, you’re probably right. But my best friend got married on the other side of the continent and I went alone, hung out with a bunch of strangers for a week and cried like a baby when she walked down the aisle. I don’t have kids, but I imagine watching someone you consider family walk down the aisle in the most gorgeous dress in literally a scene out of an Instagram celebrities profile, you ugly cry with pride. Meeting the group of people who support and love people you support is a cool thing, it’s like a sweater for your heart knowing there are so many other people who also love the humans you love. Ugh. As my friend Kate so aptly said, I just love love! In all forms, and for all humans.
- Babies babies babies. I’m certainly at that age where these things are so typical it’s almost funny but it’s still fun to experience them first-hand. It feels like everyone I know drank the same Kool-aid and got prego and that’s pretty super. I like meeting little minis of people I like, and look forward to spoiling them, giving them their first taste of wine and having slumber parties with their kids as I genuinely try to be the cool aunt. Don’t fight it friends. It will happen.
- School is in session. YASSSS. School is still in session. It has been. It will be. But sh*t. I made a lot of progress this year. Organic Chemistry did not kill me, and Statistics did not give me an aneurism. So I’d say that’s a victory. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the support I’ve gotten as I cried weekly through every exam was unreal. My husband, my family, my friends, you humans are so priceless that if I could sell you on the black market to pay for grad school, I don’t even think I’d do it. That’s how much I appreciate you. Just sayin’.
Even just writing this out makes me swell with joy which was the point. The new year always kickstarts my season of reflection and my birthday galvanizes it with a finality that says, okay, all those things you’re thinking about? It’s time to do them so you can say, “When I was 30 I…”, next year. So here goes nothin’… as I count down the days toward my transition into the decade of three’s, these are the moments I’ll remember when I begin to panic about what I’ve done with my life lately and I know they’ll bring me a smile.
Next up? Envisioning what 30 will hold. How do you handle birthdays? Are you a dancing queen or anti-acknowledgement?