Yesterday marked my 21st full rotation around the sun – a rather remarkable feat considering the mishaps, madness and mayhem I’ve experienced this last decade or so!
Usually I don’t particularly like my birthday. It is ironically the one day of the year I despise receiving attention on! This year however, with all my family and friends being so giving in their time, generosity and ideas, and after such a helluva year for my entire family, I decided to change my attitude and make the best out of a day which others were so keen to make special for me. I didn’t fancy organising anything overboard, or succumbing to the societal expectation of having a whopping 21st birthday celebration, however that didn’t have to mean I couldn’t celebrate in a way that felt right for me instead…
So I did a bunch of things & stuffs & whatnots over the weekend. Some were specifically in aid of my birthday, and others were not – although I felt as though they were, because they meant so much to me:
On Friday evening we had a lovely family orientated birthday dinner at my Dad’s house. On Saturday afternoon I went to the theatre with my step-mum and little sister. On Saturday evening I had a relaxing evening in with my mum, during which we baked the beautiful Piñata Cake depicted in this post here!
On Sunday my little 12 year old sister hosted a charity cake competition at our house, in which we raised £250 for the children in Nepal who’s lives have been devastated by the recent April earthquake.
Here is a photo of a selection of the lovely cakes people made:
On Sunday night a small group of my friends and I went to the park with picnic blankets, food, drinks and good music, to celebrate my birthday-eve. I had so much fun and even though I did get pretty drunk, it was a beautiful kind of inebriation. I was happy, free, hyper, talkative, grateful and so connected with nature and all my lovely friends. I was also unintentionally mindful, observing and describing my appreciation and awe of the clouds, the sunset, the beauty of the surroundings around me. I certainly had a good laugh, and it was one of the most serene and enjoyable evenings I’ve had this year.
On Monday my mum and I rescued a tiny baby chick that had fallen out of a nest and injured her wing. Right in the nick of time as well – before our cat pounced on her! We took her to the vet and they are taking good care of her and will continue to do so until they find her a new home. I love animals with a passion and genuinely felt like the situation was “meant to be” (on my birthday) because looking after animals fills me with such joy. I was so grateful. This tiny baby chick filled me up with loving and compassionate vibes.
On Monday afternoon my Grandma came over and gave me my present. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece of jewellery which goes back a few generations in my family, and which has now been passed onto me. I feel so touched and so grateful for it and what it represents to me. Honestly, I feel honoured.
On Monday night, I went out for dinner with my entire family (my Mum, sisters, grandparents, Dad, step-mum) and my best friend N. We went to my favourite childhood restaurant in my area and had such a cute evening with delicious food and in great company. I even managed to survive the loudest and most embarrassing Happy Birthday parade led by the restaurant staff and their rather clangy drums and tambourines!
Perhaps even more so than the generosity of the gifts I received, were the words written in the cards and the letters people sent me. A whole host of family members and friends wrote me such meaningful and emotional cards expressing their appreciation of me as a friend, daughter, sister and generally as a person. A lot of people took the opportunity to express more than just birthday wishes, expressing to me so much more. The things people said about me were so thoughtful and genuine that I struggled not to cry! I usually find it hard to take compliments and believe what people tell me about myself, but for some reason yesterday was different and I was able to fully internalise all the touching things people wrote and said to me. I remember thinking to myself that if all these people were mutually expressing such positive experiences and gratitude towards me, well… maybe just maybe I am not “such a bad person” after all.
Actually, I had a particular moment yesterday that I would like to make a note of. I was walking down the street with the sun on my face and my bare arms exposed to the world, when I felt a very rare and beautiful feeling. Firstly, I was free of anxiety, both mental and physical. Secondly, in that moment, I actually liked myself for who I am and for how my friends and family perceive me to be. I felt proud to be me and proud to be a part of the lives of all my family and friends. I felt happy and liberated and grateful and present in the moment. I had a deep sense of ‘everything is going to work out’ and I wanted to write this down so that I can remember Monday 29th June 2015 for years to come.