I love birthdays. I am not one of those Adulty McAdultsons who don’t tell anyone it’s their birthday, and spend the day exactly as every other day, letting it slide away in insignificance. (Ahem, you know who you are, you traitor to all birthday magic.) I think birthdays are meant to be celebrated, whether you’re turning seven or fifty-seven, and I’m on a mission to destroy the myth that tells adults they are too old for enjoying birthdays.
I love new beginnings and fresh starts and clean pages and resolutions and life plans. Is there anything more fun than looking over the highlights of the past era, and making plans for the one to come? Consequently, that means I love New Years and moving and of course, birthdays! Maybe when I’m turning 40 I’ll mind the getting older part, but for now, I’ve just found life to get much better the older I get.
So to celebrate what the past year has held, I have compiled a few little letters, remembering some of the highlights of being twenty-six.
Dear trusty cars and airplanes and my own two feet,
You have taken me to a lot of new places this past year, as well as some of my favorite old ones. Savannah, New York City, Paris, Banff… it’s been a ton of fun. My goodness, I didn’t even realize how much traveling I did until I started making a list! Thank you for expanding my world and filling my eyes and soul with new sights and experiences and delicious food. As Mark Twain so aptly said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Thank you for always being there for me, through thick and thin (mostly thick), good days and bad. You improve the quality of my life by approximately 54%. Without you, life would be a bleak and howling wilderness (and I might be a lot skinnier, but let’s not go into that).
Dear Runway 5k,
Thank you for not killing me. Also thank you for the satisfaction of accomplishing something hard (for me). Running is most definitely not my jam, but I’m glad we got acquainted a little last year.
Dear Race of Joseph,
What to even say? There isn’t a good way to summarize how much better life is with a group of kindred spirits at one’s side. Thank you for enriching my life, even more than tacos. The nights spent around our kitchen tables with tea and work stuff we pretend to do but actually we just chat, times with our elbows buried deep in the carpet with bowls of popcorn as we plan our futures, the countless walks and picnics we had together, the way you help me hash out life like few others- it’s a treasure.
With three new kiddies this past year, you’ve been a ton of fun. Being an aunt is definitely one of the best parts of my life, and this year was no exception. I love enjoying the kids to the max, and then sending them home at the end of the day when they get cranky. It’s the best of both worlds, really 🙂
Dear officer who arrested me,
Thank you that it wasn’t a real arrest. It was a pretty entertaining day though, even if it was just for a fundraiser. Also, if anyone can give me information on who nominated me in the first place, I’d be grateful!
Dear Winston Salem,
I quite fell for you this past year. Your downtown is one of my favorite places to be, what with its tacos and coffee shops, old buildings and new friends. You’re artsy and charming, and I delight in finding new corners I love, like the top of the parking deck with a great view, the creepy church courtyard, and empty brick-lined alleys, just waiting to be explored.
It was a good day. I roamed about Charlotte with the lovely Mia, eating baleadas and tamales, zipping about on scooters, and getting as many free drinks as possible. The day ended with green curry, and with tea in my cozy little flat alongside my people, as we discussed what the next year holds. I think it will be a year of change and a lot of growth, if the past few months are any indication. Not a comfortable year necessarily, but I look forward to being stretched out of my comfort zone, and to seeing what the year contains.