On April 22nd, I turned 29. I think that of all the “holidays”, I love birthdays the most. I feel grateful to have had another year of life, with the promise of one ahead. Aging is a gift. The greatest wealth we have is our time and our health. And we’re not here for very long. Even the longest life, is pretty darn short.
Throughout the year, I write down all the lessons, reflections and realizations I have in various aspects of my life. I have shared these with you over the past few years – 25, 27, 28.
I hope you enjoy reading through these reflections, perhaps with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, because it’s a long one. My life is always so rich with growth lessons, especially this last year. The lessons I’ve learned this year have been centered around facing my fears, failure, mystical experiences, shame, ambition, and mastery.
This time when I opened up my Evernote note on my laptop where I collect all my lessons and reflections on life throughout the year, so that I can share them with you on my birthday – I thought to myself “Hmmm, I don’t think I learned that much this year.”
….But WordPress is telling me that this blog post is over 2000 words, so perhaps I did learn a few things after all!
Thank you for being so patient with me. I know that I have been neglecting my blog, but it is something I would like to come back to, and I will.
I am sitting at my parent’s dining table. It is 6:30 in the morning. The house is quiet and the new risen sun is pouring its warm white light through the window and onto me.
Over the last few years I have been compiling a list of lessons, reflections and realizations I experience in my life. 2 years ago I shared everything I had written in there to that point. You can find that post here.
Since then I have learned a few more things and I would like to share them with you today.
When I think of my friend Arlene, I see her sitting on her couch, surrounding by piles of books.
She makes us a hot pot of tea with a delicious stick of cinnamon because she knows how much I love the hot spicy sweetness of it. There is a plate of delicious treats on the table, that she has made for us. Her cat curls up beside her. It is summer. The light pours through the windows and spills onto us.
And we talk. She listens to my stories, my adventures and my heartaches. She shares passages from her favourite books. And she guides me. She shares her stories, her wisdom, her lessons learned, and the poetry of life.
My friend Arlene is more than my friend, she is my teacher. She has shown me so much of myself. She has given me strength to rise when I had fallen. She has taken my hand and lovingly told me when I was wrong, and what I need to do to make things right. She saw the colours in me, even on my dullest days. She has loved me unconditionally, even when I felt I was unloveable.
Over the years, we have had so many conversations, and each one was a seed planted in my heart, and slowly as the years have passed, these seeds grow into a garden of inner worthiness, the kind that only comes when someone in your life truly cares for your spiritual journey on this planet. For that, I am so grateful for Arlene.
To quote Grey’s Anatomy (the TV show), Meredith once says “Bones break. Organs burst. Flesh tears. We can sew the flesh, repair the damage, ease the pain. But when life breaks down, when we break down, there’s no science. No hard and fast rules. We just have to feel our way through.”
That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing this last year – feeling my way through.
Yet another installment of my weekend birthday celebration was dinner with the girls. We wined and dined at The G hotel here in Galway. Great food, wine, company, and red dresses. What more could a girl ask for?
This is how the night started. Becky did my hair. She’s very good at hair stuff, unlike me.
The theme was RED. Can you tell? 🙂
I bet you can now. Group shot.
This is myself looking a little bit grumpy. I love what becky did to my hair.
My roommates Marie and Michelle had bought me this wine glass with fairies and the number 21 written on it. I thought it would be very appropriate to drink my peach flavoured champagne from it.
I love this photograph of Becky.
Becky and her hair in the wind.
Becky got so carried away by the “niceness” of the restaurant that she accidentally responded in french to the waiter. We all laughed about that for a long time.
I love how everything but Emma’s glass is out of focus in this photograph.
Om nom nom. I LOVE NICE RESTAURANTS.
Getting ready for the big finale.
Here it is. The action shot. My 21st birthday wish.
This year I wished that I may always be able to feel and express gratitude for my beautiful life.
Washroom break. Because girls always go to the washroom together. It’s just how we do.