So, my 27th birthday is upon me. Sunday, the 11th to be exact. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far….just slightly passed a jubilee indulgence, less than three decades, but almost. I feel like I’ve lived 27 different lifetimes in the last year with all of the changes I’ve gone through – though reflecting on 2014 I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that New Year’s Eve really marks the beginning of a new year, but I’ve never really been too excited about it; I mostly just wait to catch the excitement for my birthday, just ten days later.
I cannot begin to tell you how pumped I am to see what my twenty-seventh year is going to hold for me. While I’m sad that this makes me closer to thirty, I’m happy with how I’m aging. Growing up I was always nervous for, “milestone,” birthdays: sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-five….all very promising, but each ending up being categorized as thoroughly mundane.
Sixteen was supposed to be this magical birthday where you get a brand new car (which I did and I still can’t believe my parents did that for me) and wear the perfect party dress and get kissed by the guy of your dreams (Heath Ledger was unavailable so I opted for my high school boyfriend) and spend the entire evening doing magical, wonderful, dreamy things. Instead, my father was in the hospital and my mom ordered fried fish from the catfish place up the road and my friends ran around the neighborhood while I sat inside watching Dawson’s Creek reruns because it was too damn cold outside to function.
Eighteen wasn’t too terrible except for the fact that 10 months later, my dad died. I still haven’t gotten over the fact that he wasn’t around for 19…or any of my other birthdays. I try not to let this make me bitter as I shove king cake (my favorite kind of birthday cake – I’m a Louisiana girl, after-all) in my face, while trying not to cry.
Twenty-one was one for the books, even though I’d been drinking for years by this time. I celebrated my damn 21st birthday the entire month of January. Hibachi with a table of friends, a bar full of people I haven’t seen in forever, drinking with my mom until she got too tipsy and had to be driven home by another one of my friends, a fancy dinner with my boyfriend, best friends and family, where I was roasted to the point of tears; semi-happy and semi-sad…my mom had a knack at the time for making the seemingly most-sincere of jokes not so funny – but I love her anyway (and we’ve well-grown past our differences.)
I was exceptionally hopeful for twenty-five. I was married, had just received a fabulous cut and color from my favorite hair dresser and planned on spending the evening with friends and food and laughter; the night was not nearly as exciting as I hoped. I spent the night crying in to a glass of Jameson at a bar while talking about how beautiful love is.
All of these big birthdays have been extremely lackluster in their own right, with highs and lows to keep it interesting enough for me to write about, obviously.
Last year, for twenty-six, since my husband (ex? do I call him that yet?) shared a birthday, planned a day full of football, friends and food (and adult bevs, of course.) I was so ready for a night out with my friends and hopeful that this birthday would erase all of the crappy ones, as I do every year. I suppose I can compare it to high school dances – you spend hours getting ready for, “the perfect night,” and it ends up being worse than you could have imagined, crying in the bathroom over a boy that won’t dance with you and drinking nasty spiked punch. Though I did manage to party my ass off and stay out til seven in the morning, twenty-six was when I discovered that I knew jack-shit about life; that I had no idea how to make anything work properly and that I needed to find better ways of doing everything.
So, now that I’ve complained for 723 words, I’d like to take a moment to express my excitement for this next birthday. This year, in my new year, I am moving forward without expectation. I’m taking control of all of the planning for myself and carefully selecting what I’m doing and with whom. I want drama free fun and I’m going to get it. I get to spend it with my true friends and my beautiful family, doing what I love: spending quality time with those that matter. I’ll probably sneak in lots of yoga and a trip to New Orleans. I hope to eat fancy-schmance appetizers and sip too many sazeracs. I already have something sparkly to wear and I just chopped off more of my hair – feeling super Parisian and fabulous already.
I am so happy I had some seriously wah-wah birthdays, because this year I truly know how to appreciate the day, and how to celebrate it: FEELING BLESSED TO BE ALIVE AND NOTHING MORE. Year twenty-seven, unless I go the way of the Forever 27 Club, is going to be the best. I feel happier and healthier than I have in my entire twenties and I finally have a grip on who I am, what I want and where I’m headed.
Lackluster twenty-seven, I’m going to make you shine.
ALSO…..these are hilarious and mostly/definitely true.
what does fleek mean? help me.