I’m all about a fresh start. From New Year’s Day to getting up in the morning (after 9am), I love new beginnings. They’re chances to improve who you are and to redefine the pieces of you that have taken up full-time residency in the “needs improvement” column – right next to “applying liquid eyeliner” and “learning how to flirt without being terrifyingly awkward”. Birthdays for me are just the same: a chance to start fresh, to rid my life of unwanted negativity and to continue to move towards being my best self. Every birthday I challenge myself to not only be better, but to make the next year the best one yet. And regardless of the last year’s turn out, I still kindle my flame of optimism hoping that the best is always yet to come.
So as May rolled around, summer got a sweet start when I (finallyyyyy) turned 21! And as I looked at my life and took note of its impurities, I knew exactly what my goal would be for my 21st year: happiness.
Thus far, twenty-one has been totally fab. And although being of age is quite less eventful than I had dreamed it to be as a tweenager (definition: the awkward, premature years when I proudly sported Limited Too and a mouth full of braces), I’m in love with my life – alcohol or not (although sometimes preferred). Highlights of my “21st year” to date being: celebrating my actual birthday with the best creatures around, spending some quality (and much needed) time with the family this summer, and buying a bottle (ok… bottles) of wine at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes it’s the little things…
I started my morning with a birthday hike overlooking Stanford with Steph, sent my dad off on a 2 week adventure to Ireland (obviously I didn’t go; still a sore subject), had dinner with my peeps at my favorite Greek restaurant downtown, and waddled over to a few local bars before heading home. Throw in a few cupcakes, a few too many strong drinks and some even stronger friendships, and that was the make-up of my golden birthday. Sound like a low-key 21st? Well, it was, and it was absolutely perfect.
I didn’t do a Vegas run or an all-inclusive to Puerto Vallarta, and I didn’t want to.
- I’m in college, therefore, I’m broke. (Mom, you’re welcome)
- It wasn’t about the location, it was about the people.
And considering I don’t (yet) have the means to fly my entire dinner party across the border (#someday), being home made for a great place to celebrate. Our family trip to Hawaii this summer (more to come later this week) made for a great birthday trip, anyway. I mean, I can’t live too luxuriously as a twenty something or I’ll never want to work for anything. I think that’s how it goes, right?
A few thoughts on birthdays (and yes, getting older):
You can’t value life by the things you have or the number of years you’ve been alive; it’s about what you’ve done with those years, who you’ve spent them with and who you’ve become along the way. We’re given decades of life (if we’re lucky) because life isn’t easy – and it’s not supposed to be. It’s hard to get it right, and we need all the time we can get to even try to come close. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these last 21 years, it’s that (most) humans totally rock. And our relationships with people (especially siblings) are far more fulfilling than any other substitute.
I wanted to spend the BIG Two One with my parents (I know I’m weird), my sister (she picks a mean Cab blend) and some really great friends. And I’m so glad I did, because it’s one of my favorite memories to date.
But the best is yet to come.
Keep doing you, even as those years creep up on you, and keep loving and enjoying other humans. Cheers (legally) to all you summer birthdays out there!