Yesterday I turned 26, but because we love a good party around this home, we started celebrating last weekend. I mean, you only get one birthday a year, might as well drag it out until everyone is tired of it and you have eaten so much cake that you are feeling slightly ill all the time.
James, having taken note over the years of what I
demand prefer in terms of birthday celebrations, organized a party with some of our favorite DC friends in Lyman’s backyard. (Dear Housemates of Lyman: I promise that when the cold weather comes, we will actually go back to celebrating at our own house, because I know that this, after the Fourth party, and James’ birthday, might be getting a little tedious. But if you don’t want us, you really should have taken down those globe lights, because they basically scream “COME HAVE A PARTY HERE!!!” and I am powerless to resist the call of some globe lights.) We had pink cake (my birthday staple), hotdogs, girly drinks, and some other yummy treats that are totally off-limits given the parameters of the recently began Hannah and James Health Initiative. But oh wait — there are no calories on birthdays. Winning.
Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I was spoiled again with donuts in bed and a perfect cupcake when I got home, followed by dinner out at one of our new favorite spots. I also forced my students to celebrate by teaching them birthday wishes in French the day before and demanding their usage in class. You do what you have to.
I realize that 26 really isn’t very old. In fact, I don’t feel old at all, other than the moments where I reference something in class (TRL, VHS, Boy Meets World, Justin Timberlake actually being part of a larger band, and Will Smith being first and foremost a rapper) that my students have never heard of/ weren’t born for. I feel like I still have so much time in front of me, so many years to make mistakes and start over, so many chances to figure out what I am doing with my life.
But then I see those articles about how early motherhood is inherently better for you and your babies or I see people buying houses or my knees hurt on stairs or I realize that there isn’t time to do everything, and I start getting stressed. Because way back when, I thought I would have it all figured out by 26. I would be married, settled in a career, fully cognizant of where life was going and how I was going to live it. And yes, I am married, but I am still waiting to grow up and figure all the rest of it out.
Then I look on my life. I look at those pictures and I see us surrounded by people we love, in a city we never thought we would live in, pursuing things we never planned on loving. I see chances that we have missed, but so many others that we have taken, are taking, or still lie in front of us. Because maybe you never really grow up and figure it all out, and it only looks like other people have, but they are probably just as confused as everyone else.
So here’s to year 26. May it be a good one, full of love, laughter, and figuring out just a little bit more about life.
Oh, and let’s also make it full of donuts, because that was s such a good way to start it.