I turned 26 this year. I honestly wasn’t very excited, at least not at first; in general, I‘m not the type to get very worked up about my birthdays. My 16th birthday came and went without a big to-do, and the other ‘milestones’ – 18 (I’m a grown up!) 21 (I can drink!) and 25 (I can rent a car!) also passed without much fanfare. To say I assumed 26 would be uneventful is certainly an understatement. I think part of it is that, as I have always been a student, my April 23rd birthday tends to fall at a very busy time of year, making it seem more like a hassle to celebrate. Also, I tend to get nervous about being the center of attention – If I had my choice, I’d spend most of my time one-on-one or in small groups. This year, though, my best friend INSISTED that we have a celebration. True to form, I resisted, asserting that it just couldn’t be done, Alex and I were too busy, nobody would be able to come, blah blah blah. But I was wrong, and it was great. We started with a delicious tapas-style dinner in Astoria at Il Bambino and a party afterwards at Alex’s house, celebrating both my 26th and his upcoming 27th birthday.
I feel like this birthday in particular represents the beginning of a stage of growth and change in my life, and I’m really glad I got to celebrate it properly. This month, I got accepted into a dietetic internship program, handed in my masters’ thesis, and had a pretty serious conversation with my boyfriend about what our relationship and our living situation will be like over the next few months and years. I also received a pretty surprising letter in the mail. In their own right, each of these things is exciting, but more importantly I think they are pretty clear signals of change. To be able to celebrate such an exciting time in my life among friends was such a joy, and I can’t believe I almost let myself miss out.
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On a separate but related note, after spending the past year or so going back and forth about whether or not I want to commit to blogging regularly, I am ready. I feel like I have spent so much time waiting, itching for my own independence and a sense of what I want to do with my life, and trying to figure out just who I am and what I want. I can’t say I have a very clear sense of who I am just yet (will I ever?), but I think I have become more self-aware and developed a pretty nice relationship with myself. I want to use this blog as a sounding board, a mirror, a time capsule, and a scrapbook. The idea that I can, in a way, encapsulate who I am today and be able to look back a year from now and see what has changed and what remains the same seems so… I don’t know. Cool? Useful? Therapeutic? Maybe all of these? Either way, I’m giving it a try, as a long-overdue birthday present to myself.
“When it rains it pours, and opens doors
And floods the floors we thought would always keep us safe and dry.” ~Train