Birthdays have forever terrified me; not the whole getting older thing, but rather the “I don’t want to throw a party and no one show up thing.” When I turned 16, my mom was insistent we throw a party and I spent the whole night terrified that the boy I liked wouldn’t show up. He did, but I was so nervous that I didn’t really live in the moment. I wasn’t appreciative of all the incredible people who were there or for my mother who went to a great lengths to make my day special.
This past week was my 27th birthday, and to say I was less than enthused is an understatement. I was determined to ignore the day. However, my girlfriend B was insistent that we at least celebrate a little. So she told me to meet her for breakfast at this adorable restaurant in Venice Beach called The Butcher’s Daughter. I was excited because I love B and I felt like we were low-key doing something to usher in my late twenties. When I showed up, she told me we had to check the patio because that’s where there was open seating. I’m clueless, so I didn’t even process that that was a terrible lie. When I walked outside, a group of my closest girlfriends were all there waiting, cocktails in hand! I’ve never been so surprised in my entire life. Women I adore with all my heart had taken their entire Saturday to celebrate my birthday. What is that?! They planned and schemed, and completely surprised me! I was blown away! There was something so humbling about the fact that these people wanted to celebrate with me. I was beyond honored.
Too often we charge through our daily tasks thinking very little about the people with whom we have chosen to live our very short lives. People are fantastic. And women as a support group are even more incredible. Sitting at the table with these beautiful souls who had surprised me reminded me that we need each other and we absolutely need to be there for one another. We hear it all the time, life is precious, life is short, but I don’t think we fully process that on a regular basis. We cannot simply work and grocery shop and go to the gym. We have to make time to listen to one another’s stories, to laugh, to share a good meal. We need each other. For three hours, I laughed more than I have in ages. We all talked as a group, we talked in pairs, we moved around the table to talk to different women. We discussed our jobs, our dreams, our plans for the weekend, our plans for the future. We talked about our families and about the men we are dating. We talked about food and wine. And when we finished brunch? We went to the next restaurant! We spent an entire day eating and laughing and supporting one another. For the first time ever, I am obsessed with how I celebrated my birthday.
My new goal is to make all of the women in my life feel valued and worthy of celebrating on their birthday. It’s one day a year to single out those that you love and make them feel loved. How cool is that? A built in day of the year to stop and honor a strong, incredible person in your life. How have I not been taking better advantage of that?! From here on out, I absolutely will be. Get out your phone, and mark all of your girls’ birthdays. Make sure you acknowledge the day in some capacity. It doesn’t have to be a surprise party and a full day of festivities, but a cupcake never hurt anyone. And we are all so worthy of celebrating.
Until next time,