I am 32.
Wait. (Papers rustling.)
Oh, right. (chuckles.)
I read the Birth Certificate wrong.
Ahem... I'm 25.
This year, I'm doing the quiet thing. Where the friends gather, we hover in a tight circle around the cake, my eyes tear as I breathe in their love for me, and just before the candle inferno becomes a billowing tuft of smoke, I make the wish.
This wish is usually selfish, a me wish. And even though - you may have noticed - I tend toward the emotional, I can still be pretty selfish. I've long ago given up trying to change myself, and I'm okay with it. If you're a writer, too, then you understand what a lonely process it can be. Stuffing yourself away for hours, sometimes days at a time, neglecting what really matters in our lives - the people. And, I guess, even if no other life lessons have bit me in the butt, I'm starting to realize just how BIG this one is.
I've always been a family girl. Growing up in a gargantuan family is no easy feat. It's noisy, messy, unorganized, but crazy fun and, hopefully, so full of love you don't know what to do with it all. I've known this forever, but it doesn't mean that I appreciate it all the time. But, for some stupid life-questioning reason, the "older" I get, the more I begin to think that though my life is full of all these crazy wonderful possibilities, opportunities, goals, and dreams, it's all truly about the people. I can think deep thoughts for the rest of my life, wonder endlessly about my purpose, write ten thousand books, read ten times as many, but if I don't have the people, all of those pretty thoughts, goals, and dreams become null and void.
So, tonight I'll enjoy my rump-shaking hiatus, make my me wish, but most importantly, soak up the blinks of time I get to spend with ones I love. And in honor of my Rockin' Awesome B-Day, and since I've been reading the ever-deep and profound Mr. Nepo, I'm including another quote from Awakening:
Singing from the peak isn't quite the same as whispering in the center of a circle that has carried you ashore. Honest friends are doorways to our souls, and loving friends are the grasses that soften the world. It is no mistake that the German root of the word friendship means "place of high safety"... There can be no greater or simpler ambition than to be a friend.