Over the years here at SHBI, I usually post something about my birthday (here in 2011, here in 2012). It’s largely because I view my birthday as the beginning of the new year. It’s a time to intention set, look back and look forward. I feel it’s very auspicious and special.
My mom muses that I have always cried on my birthday since I was a baby. Sometimes it’s tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of frustration, tears of emotion or just tears of fear (AKA when I was 4 and my dad dressed up as a bear and walked up from the basement and we all screamed and ran away crying, wasn’t the best idea pops).
In 2011, I jokingly tell the story of our new puppy Cerna getting too excited and eating too many scraps that fell on the ground at our party, so he threw up all over my friend’s brand new white shoes (twice). I burst into tears because I was trying to control the situation and ensure everyone was happy instead of just laughing, rubbing the pup’s belly and washing my friends shoes. Because really, shit happens. Looking back, it’s hilarious. It’s good to have perspective.
This year, on my 27th birthday, I was traveling for business. I was in the Boston area (where The Man is from) so instead of moping he recommended an incredible Cambodian / French fusion restaurant (The Elephant Walk).
On the night of March 13th, my birthday, I had traveled all day and had a big meeting / training to prep for the next day, but I wasn’t going to stay alone in my hotel room. I wanted to follow through on my plan.
If I back up a bit, I was going to see one of my closet girlfriends and roommates from college that night, but she had a work event she couldn’t get out of last minute. I do have a handful of friends / acquaintances in the Boston area, but after my girlfriend that I always see when we’re there couldn’t make it, it sounded silly to start going through the rolodex and asking who could “take me out” for my birthday. When it came down to it, I didn’t “need” that and I had a small window to go out so just decided to keep it simple.
Dinner was wonderful. I sat at the bar alongside two other travelers, so I wasn’t the only one flying solo. I eat alone a lot. To me, it’s pretty simple and enjoyable. There is something a bit different about your birthday alone, because society thinks it’s something different.
I was quiet about my birthday that night and even when I was carded for the glass of wine I ordered, the bartender missed it. One of my dearest friends knew I was solo and a bit nervous about it, so at the end of my meal, out came a piece of cake with a lit candle in it. She called in and surprised me. I was so touched (and totally blushing when my cover was blown).
It was a quiet evening. I didn’t speak that much. I enjoyed my food and thought about what was next in life.
At the end of my evening, I even got a manager’s discount because I think they felt bad for me, which made me chuckle. The staff was kind throughout the evening even after learning it was my birthday and they thought I lived in Waltham and didn’t have friends. I built up quite the tab with two glasses of wine, an appetizer and entree because I wanted to do it up.
And it was me taking myself out (not expensing it), it was my treat, on me.
The next night, after the all-day meeting, I drove my rental car to Worcester, to see The Man’s family (and a few friends). We had an incredible home cooked meal and chocolate, peanut butter Reece’s cake The Man’s sister made for me from scratch. I felt so lucky and showered with love. I love them.
When I was back home, I rounded up all my pockets of friends for a party at one of my favorite restaurant / bars on Saturday so I could hug everyone and tell them thank you so much for being a good friend.
And guess what? This whole birthday week – no tears were shed.