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Friday, November 9, 2012

The matterings of life

Today is my birthday.

I am 32.
Wait. (Papers rustling.)
Oh, right. (chuckles.)
I read the Birth Certificate wrong.
Ahem... I'm 25.

Anyway, it's my birthday, and I don't know what you do for your birthday, but every year is different for me. For the past few years, I've enjoyed my once-a-year club crawl while only feeling a smidge older than the usual 18-21 crowd, shaking what my momma gave me, and drinking till I puked just to prove I could. And, yes, I always regretted it in the morning. This year, not so much. And not because I feel older. I'm not sure "older" will ever enter my feelings file. I think I'll always feel like a twenty-three year old with the delightfully obnoxious immaturity of a tween.

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.

 


18 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday!!! I hope it's a great one! Enjoy your quiet evening, seems like a good way to enjoy a birthday to me! I too don't feel like I'm as old as I actually am. I think that's a good thing tho, as long as you feel young you ARE young, right? Again happy b'day!!

    ~alli
    mrscaptkirk51.blogspot.com

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  2. I love this! I forget how old I am most of the time, thanks to writing YA. I keep thinking I'm 17 years old. Of course my adorable kids loves to remind me my real age. But despite that, I still love them. :D

    Happy birthday, Megan.

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    1. Thanks, Stina. And we're only as old as we feel, right? So realistically, we are teenagers :)lol

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  3. Happy Birthday! I hope you felt just as young as you wanted to (come on, you're definitely allowed) and had a blast! I am still a teen and tend to do the quiet thing on my birthday so I hope you loved that too :) Don't think about getting older, just think about having fun! Then you'll never really get old!

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  4. happy birthday!

    and like Stina, I may be older than I look but in my heart I'm still 17. The good thing is, I don't always act on those 17-year-old impulses :)

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    1. LOL, Yes! That's the actual separation :)

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  5. Happy Birthday Megan! There is nothing wrong with a good "ME" wish, I love a good "ME" wish and on your birthday you definitely deserve it. I haven't done the rump shaking for many years (I'm 24 but I have a 5 & 3 year old) I can honestly say that I am in your boat, and while the rump shaking is fun, the day after definitely is not. I hope you had a great low-key birthday, and I hope you get your wish!

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  6. "Place of high safety"--I like that! :o) Hope you had a wonderful birthday! Sometimes the quiet ones can be the most memorable! <3

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  7. Thanks, everyone! I had a wonderful birthday, and a good "me" wish, he:)

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  8. Happy birthday last week! I think I teach kids (both my own and others) to keep me young. =) Our birthday tradition is to wake up to a table full of gifts. After all of us ooh and ahh over the haul, we hang out as a family--at the park, at Disney, watching movies or playing with the b-day kiddo and his/her new toys. I grew up in a big family too, and I miss all those awesome voices on a daily basis. Thank goodness for social networking to help us all keep in touch, eh?

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  9. Happy late birthday! I'm selfish too, but without other people, where would be? I read somewhere that our personalities are made up of bits and pieces of other people that we've met. They all contribute to us somehow, and I've always loved that thought. :)

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  10. Happy b'day well after the actual day :) Hope it was a wonderful day/night!!

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  11. Happy b-day! Enjoy ur day it is well deserved!

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  12. This is a beautifully written post. You clearly have talent. Happy (belated) birthday!

    I'm a 34yo who still feels 23, too!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! I think we'll just stay 23 forever ;)

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