Tomorrow I turn 39. I turn 39 in the midst of a world wide crisis, a pandemic. I am not the only one to celebrate in the midst of these social distancing months. I have had family celebrate their birthdays afar and my partner had her birthday in March. I am not alone in the midst of celebrating landmarks in the midst of a pandemic world.
On one hand I have had to deal with my disappointments about this turning of age. I have had to put away the expectations of where I thought I would be during this week. Originally we were going to be in a city I truly love on this day, Chicago. Then I was going to fly home to Oregon for a little while. When the Chicago trip was cancelled I still held out hope to fly to Oregon on May 20 and when those flights were cancelled I settled in for something altogether different. Everything is so unknown. But I know tomorrow will be sweet. I know that my partner is working hard to make sweet moments together and with friends and I can’t wait to see what transpires.
I love my birthday on top of it. I always have. You know it if you know me. My birthday is usually an intentional day for me to request what I would love to have happen and it is the one day I really ask for the attention. When I was a kiddo it was about planning the skating party, pizza party, sleep over party. When I was a teen it was about planning where I would go and what I would do with friends and a family party too. As an adult I have been known to plan things.
My 30th birthday party was a full out party in McMinnville with good friends making amazing food and amazing wine all around. 85 people wandered through our little house that was decked out and people could stay for hours. After that party I requested more intimate dinner parties that would last for hours. One of my favorite things in the whole world is to gather a few people around for a dinner party where you lose time.
My 33rd birthday landed on a Thursday and I entered into what I called my “Jesus year.” So on that day, one of my closest friends hosted a “Last Supper” for me per request with a a long table and we had originally planned in an upper room of his house but it was so hot we moved to outside that year.
My 34th birthday was on a Friday and I looked for ways to plunge to my metaphorical death so I went ziplining.
My 35th was on a Sunday, Pentecost so a large bonfire seemed appropriate.
On my 36th birthday I was on the Camino in Astorga Spain with this amazing girl who spoiled me all day while we took a day off from walking.
37 was jam packed full of people all day with an amazing dinner made by one of my best friends to gear up for me to move.
Last year I was in Nice, France tasting wine all day and eating food around long tables with strangers and I loved every minute except Ana was at a work conference.
And here we are, together and that is what will matter most in this weird time. It will be memorable and key.
What will the next year bring? I have given up on guessing or even planning that far in advance. I know what we are talking about now but a year is a while. What have I learned this last year? I have been leaning into the learnings of taking life moment by moment and step by step during this time. That main learning seems to over power anything else. I have noticed a few more grey hairs and smiling wrinkles this year whihc I am actually very proud of. I have leaned into Berlin more than I have yet in my second year here. I have learned more German than I thought imaginable and have traveled to very cool places. I have met amazing people to add to the people I know and have embraced my homesickness for Portland in a different way. I am excited to see what 39 will bring and invite it as it will welcome me into my 40s next year.
Today, on my birthday eve, I am excited about what is to come.