Last year my birthday was rough. I remember feeling sad and down for most of the day – remembering wanting the day to be something different, and crying. I cried. Repeatedly.
I was raised to believe birthdays are a big deal – and maybe that makes me a pain in the ass to most people – but it’s just the way my mom’s side of the family is. I have this memory of waking one morning on my birthday when I was younger, and finding a stuffed Paddington Bear waiting for me on the dining table. It seems like that from the beginning of the day, the birthday person was special, the day was special.
I was dreading this birthday.
Life has been a little wonky lately, to say the least – a lot of change.
And this is when my friends decided they would step in.
And as a result, today has been one of the best days I can remember having in a very long time.
I stood outside this morning watching the sun come up with tears in my eyes and dread for the day ahead of me. I sit on my sofa at nearly 11 p.m. this evening feeling special, cared for and just blessed beyond belief that my friends and family took time out of their day to make sure I knew I was thought of – and that two (my Barbara and my Debbie) went above and beyond to ensure that this day was special for me, that I would feel special.
A gazillion messages on Facebook, texts, phone calls, enough baked goods to feed my office, presents (including Sharpies!), a birthday cake made by The Princess and plastic jewelry given to me by Pumpkin and at the end of this day, this day I am another year older, I realize that this year I haven’t given as much thought to the age and feeling old as I have to feeling blessed. How lucky am I to have people who care about me?
Debbie called me tonight after dinner. I was wearing my birthday tiara and sitting in a chair by the window and I tried and failed once more to explain how much it meant to me, this birthday extravaganza of theirs for me. And every time I tried, I could feel my voice shake and crack and tears fill my eyes.
You think, after a certain point in your life, that you’ve met everyone you’re going to meet and that all the roles for the central characters in your life have been cast by people you’ve met in earlier places. And then you find you’re wrong. And in your thirties, you find that you are making some of the strongest friendships you have ever had in your life – and they’re stronger because of who you become in your 30s.
(The ways we change once we hit 30 is probably another post in itself)
So I’m glad I was wrong – I’m glad that at 36 (gah) my life is still being enriched with phenomenal people. I’m grateful for these people and for the greatest gift of all – their friendship.