A 30th Birthday Done Right

August 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Life and Living | 1 Comment
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Surprise parties are not easy things to pull off, especially when it’s for your best friend.  How can you go without telling the one person who knows everything about your life about the biggest and most exciting thing you have in store for them?  It’s not easy, and as I planned for my best friend’s 30th, my limits were tested over and over again, but somehow, miracle of miracles, we pulled it off, and the long weekend will go down in our personal histories as one of our greatest memories.  We will be talking about that trip when we are in rocking chairs on porches knitting or crochetting, or whatever stereotypical activity we end up participating in when we are old and grey.

And I couldn’t have done it alone.  I couldn’t hold that secret all to myself. I had fellow planners, and many friends who knew about the trip and didn’t say a word. I am very grateful for that.  One of my good friends and fellow planners really stepped it up.  Surprising my best friend with a trip to somewhere she always wanted to go (it was on her  to-do list, which I have been diligently following so I can be part of her memories), wasn’t enough.  I had to up the ante.  I showed up to her home in Boston unannounced, with my amazing friend keeping her busy packing things she didn’t need for hours before my arrival.  My surprise visit was even more surprising than the location of our trip.

The next day, we headed off to Montreal, four of us girls. Three of us had been before, (the other 2 were regulars) but the birthday girl had not been, and the four of us have not traveled all together before.  We explored this beautiful city and laughed together the way only four close girl friends could.  These ladies have been close to my heart four the past 12 years, back when we all attended college together, had dinner together each night, came of age, if you will, together, and now, the last of us was turning 30, and when the clock struck midnight on her day, it was almost magical how the night just took off.

I am so grateful to have friends like these girls, reasons to celebrate and enjoy life.  I am grateful that we have decided to embrace life and all the great activities it has to offer. I am grateful for the laughs, the good company, and the love I receive and can give to these girls.  I am grateful that we’ve been through so much together and 12 years later we are still close.

And it’s because of friends like these that will do just about anything to make each other smile, that I don’t fear growing old.  I look forward to laughing with them all the way into the afterlife.

This is It

January 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Life and Living | 4 Comments
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This is it.  My last post as a 29-year-old.  When I first started this blog back in 2010, I always knew this day would come.  Even back then people asked me, “what are you going to do when you turn 30?”  The question was referring specifically to this blog, but I feel like it could be answered in more than one way.  I knew this day would come, but I didn’t know how fast.  Time is funny that way.

When I look back at the evolution of this blog, I feel like it has become so much more than I could have ever anticipated.  I started out as a writer on a search for a medium to express myself, a writer who had just started to feel the pressures that one feels in their late twenties.  I had got myself on a path.  I had a plan.  I knew what I needed to do to reach the goals set out in the plan.

But of course, there were bumps in the road, things I never could have expected to happen, feelings I never expected to feel.  I had written the plan, but what does that really mean? I think having a plan put me in a good position in general.  I know many struggle to find direction in their later twenties, so at least I had a plan.  This plan led me to many successes and even though there have been some set backs, I have to say I’ve met many of my goals.

In many ways, I got back on course.  After college, I was admittedly lost.  I came home, got a job, but I couldn’t afford to move out.  I stayed home and struggled to reconnect with my friends.  I gave up, spent a lot of time alone, made new friends and was always jealous of my college friends and how they could all still hang out back in Boston where they all moved after college.  I struggled to find my footing.  Who was I to be at this point in my life?  How do I get back to me?  It wasn’t until I broke up with my college boyfriend (an unfortunate but necessary point of change) that I let it all come back to me.  I looked to the comfort of my college friends and my old friends who knew me before him, and somehow, over time, found a balance between the fun loving girl I once was and the girl with big dreams for the future.  I came back to me, with the help of good friends.  It’s hard for me to believe there was ever a time that I spent the weekends mostly alone.  That’s just not me, and I know, I’ll never let that happen again.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever go off course again.  We all do, and sometimes you need to.  Sometimes the plan needs adjusting.  Sometimes there needs to be experiences unwritten, unpredicted.  Sometimes we need to explore the uncommon, unexpected emotions and not ignore them because societal pressures make us think things should be this way, or that.  There are many paths we can take in our lives.  The plan is not yet written, really.

I still have 2 years left on my plan, but I am at a point of reflection.  I find myself harking back to the past often in search of answers in my history.  I have this plan, but I will not force myself to stick to it.  It is more of a guide for now, and if when the time comes to fulfill goals, if I don’t feel ready or if it doesn’t happen, I won’t consider it failure.

So where does this leave me? Where does this leave this blog?  Clearly, I still have a lot to learn, and I just don’t feel like I’m out of this phase of my life just yet.  Nothing so major has happened to change my trajectory and the purpose of this blog.  So I will keep writing in this space for now, with an updated focus, which I will reveal at 30.

See you on the other side.

6 Days

January 29, 2013 at 7:46 am | Posted in Life and Living | 2 Comments
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In six days, I will be 30.  I imagine the day of my birthday won’t feel all that different — really does anything ever feel different right after something happens?  It’s like when people ask me, “how’s married life?”  Life doesn’t always change in an instant — it most certainly doesn’t change when we expect it to.  I don’t expect to wake up feeling older, wiser, or feeling like I’ve reached some sort of turning point in my life.  No. That’s not the way things change. It’s a much more gradual process, where you just keep on going and one day you stop and take a look around and notice that everything has changed in some way, and the things that haven’t stick out like a sore thumb.

As I prepare to celebrate the big 3-0, I can’t help but reflect on birthdays of the past.  Truth be told, I struggle to remember several of them without the help of good friends in attendance and photos to remind me of where I was and what I did.  Many of them blur together as so many of the faces have been consistent in my life for many years.  Many recent birthdays were celebrated with great friends and lots of laughter and fun.  Most birthdays include some sadness in remembering that I am getting older and that time always seems to slip away.

I was sad on some birthdays for other reasons.  My 18th birthday, 3 weeks after my high school boyfriend broke up with me.  My 21st birthday, when my college boyfriend couldn’t be with me.  Birthdays are days where you are supposed to feel special, to not feel so alone.  Even though I had friends with me on both of these days, not having that one person that should be there with me was hard to handle at the time.  Back then, I was thinking about making memories as I am today, but I wasn’t thinking forward the way I do now — a blessing and a curse it seems.

But whenever I think forward, I have to look at how far I’ve come.  Even if I’m not quite where I thought I’d be, I’m pretty happy with where I am.

This birthday is going to be a good one.

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