I turned 24 today. On Sunday, some of my family members and I celebrated … hence the impromptu birthday cake photo above. I love the expressions on everyone’s faces, I love the glow of the candlelight. I’m not one that’s huge into the attention portion of birthdays. I don’t always like everyone looking at me, singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song and nudging me to make a wish. But I’m glad this moment was captured by my Dad. I really like the picture.
Today in the land of birthdays, it is not just my own day, but one I share with my Grandpa Creed and my forever-loved cousin Ray. Ray would’ve been 23 today, and it still hurts me immensely that I don’t get to call him and wish him a happy birthday and swap stories about what we’ve done to celebrate. I’ve spoken with a multitude of family members today, including just about all of my cousins, my dad, my grandmas and my grandpa, my mom, some aunts. I like knowing that they all care that I’ve inched just one year older. My cousin Jessica turns 25 tomorrow, and I always like to include her in my birthday-sharing day. She’s just about as close to being part of the trifecta of family-shared birthdays as you can get, so happy birthday to her early!
It shocked me how many people even wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. To those of you I talk to on a regular basis, I appreciate and love you all. And for the ones who I may not talk to but possibly once a year, consider me deeply moved that any of you even thought to take the 5 seconds to make it known that you’re happy that I’ve got this day to celebrate being a year older. I was so humbled by all the outpouring of well-wishes and happy posts. That made me feel pretty good.
Being 24 today brought nothing out of the ordinary. I went to work. I came home. I went to dinner. But at work, I got a card and some birthday treats. I was surprised by an Edible Arrangement from my parents, which I was definitely not expecting. At dinner, I celebrated with my mom and a friend of mine. The day didn’t feel intensely special, but I still felt the weight of it with every second. I felt the wisdom of my grandpa as he continues to be awesome even though he’s just a smidge older than me. I felt my cousin Ray’s joy for life as I sat at my birthday dinner, feeling appreciative of all the people who are still in my life- and even more so of the ones who aren’t.
Birthdays are strange for me. The attention, the feeling of anxiety over what the next year will bring. But today I felt hopeful and happy to have lots of people in my life who are happy that I’m just being myself. 24 years old. 24 years young, lost at times, and often confused. But happy, healthy and alive. That’s all you can ask for when it comes down to it.