A birthday is a funny thing. When I was young, I lived for July 8th. I remember the year I had a cooking party at home in Hinsdale with my girlfriends — I think I turned 10. Or my 11th birthday at the local pool. Then there was the year I turned 13 and knew about a “surprise” birthday party my parents had planned. I cried for hours leading up to that. As I got older, my birthday became less of a joy-filled event and more of a day to worry over. There was so much expectation and pressure, and almost always, I found that reality never quite lived up to the plans in my mind. I loved and still love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but for these selfish reasons, my own made me feel melancholy.
I had mixed feelings about turning 24 this year, and by mixed, I mean I bawled my eyes out on the elliptical machine last Tuesday. I texted my best friend: “I’m having emotional problems.” She told me I was not having emotional problems, but rather, I was just upset about my approaching birthday. “Bdays are rough,” she wrote. Truer words have never been typed.
Now that the weekend has come and gone, I have nothing but praise. By Friday night, I was on the up and up, allowing God to lead me through the weekend. Here are the highlights:
— Chipotle burrito bowls & rosé (complete with candles in a pint of Halo Top) with my small group
— Sweet, thoughtful gifts (My lender got me Chipotle gift cards and my business coach gave me a Drybar gift card — do they know me or do they know me?)
— A solo morning walk through the farmer’s market on Division Street
— Brunch with my parents/bff’s at Pierrot Gourmet
— Phone calls and FaceTimes and texts
— Cards! (I love cards!)
— Afternoon margaritas with one of my dearest friends
— The fanciest dinner I’ve ever had (Andrew took me to Boka in Lincoln Park)
— Wine at the very posh Pump Room
— Eating a Sprinkles red velvet cupcake in bed
It was one of the best birthdays on record. I am reminded of such wonderful, loving people in my life, and I’m thinking that’s what a birthday is all about.