Last year, I had a panic moment before my birthday. A small identity crisis.
It seemed pompous to plan my own birthday without anyone else at the helm. And, to be honest, I had spent the previous 4 birthdays with boyfriends. There was always someone at the wheel, even if I made some of the plans.
I had convinced myself it was pathetic to plan my own birthday party.
I got over this mean girl mind drama going on in my head by planning the best birthday in the world – facing my fear head on. My life coach pushed me to push myself. And so, I made a reservation for 1 for brunch, made a hair appointment to dye my hair bright pink (what are 29th birthdays for anyways?), and a reservation for 1 at a swanky farm-to-table restaurant.
I was all set. I was ready to be alone on my birthday. In the best way.
But I wasn’t alone.
I set next to a guy from Boston at brunch, who had lost his friends in a brunch decision snafu (classic!). We chatted the entire time, and he sang as I blew out my birthday candle on a cinnamon roll (thank you, Little Goat!). Earlier in the week, I had told a guy asking me out on a second date that I had plans for that night to eat by myself at a restaurant for my birthday…but that he could join if that wasn’t too weird. He insisted. After an extremely romantic, intimate dinner where course after course and cocktail after cocktail came my way…I was walking on air. I closed my birthday on a rooftop overlooking the city, sipping homemade whiskey cocktails, pink strands of hair flowing in the September breeze.
I had gotten it all. Birthday brunch. Birthday pampering. Birthday smooches. But the fact of the matter is…I DID IT ALL FOR ME.
No one else can take credit for that birthday.
I planned the entire thing. I made it happen.
What a surreal feeling to know you can fill up your own “cup.”
That you are enough for you.
Over the next year, friends and family would inquire what I was planning for my 30th. It was a big birthday after all, a milestone of life. As recent studies have shown, it’s when most people feel like they’ve finally become an adult. Supposedly, if you didn’t feel that at 21, this is the birthday where you feel more mature.
Everyone asked what I wanted..did I want a party…jewelry…an experience?
I didn’t know. I really didn’t.
I thought about it hard. There were places I wanted to travel to (Oktoberfest?). But wasn’t sure who would follow. There were things I wanted to do (skydiving?), but wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to commemorate my day of birth. Besides, both of those things came with a bit of stress or anxiety…and I wanted to chill. To be high vibe. To enjoy life.
And then it hit me. As I came off the high that was my trip to New Orleans (for a friend’s 30th ironically), it made me realize what I really wanted:
GOOD MUSIC. GOOD FOOD. FRIENDS. FAMILY. And a bit of BOOZE.
After much deliberation, I realized the ideal destination:
Mecca of music. Haven of food. Tennessee Whiskey. …Perfect.
But there was a problem.
How could I possibly ask my loved ones and amazing friends to *fly* in for my birthday? To rent a place with me, and chip in, and celebrate me in another state? And for a long weekend at that…
I had never asked anyone to do this in my life. Not a significant other. No one.
This birthday came at the right time, though. I was feeling a culmination of life lessons and mindset changes I had learned over the last year or two.
- I had been getting better at asking people to do things for me (takes practice!)
- I had realized that there are things I do for others, but consistently and incorrectly assume they wouldn’t do the same for me
- I knew when something felt right, from a place of love and abundance and awesomeness (vs. fear)
- Birthdays were something that I enjoyed, and I knew how to celebrate me
- And mostly, I finally knew I loved myself more than ever
At the end of the day. I realize it would be wrong NOT to plan this birthday.
To let this go wouldn’t be the right move on behalf of my self integrity.
I knew I had to do it. Come hell or high water. No matter if I was the only one who RSVPd.
…And so, with the right outlook…knowing in my heart that *I* mattered…that I deserved all of the celebration and amazingness…the plans came together like magic.
The Airbnb? A complete joke. In the best way. Seemingly too good to be true.
As my friend described it: “A millennial instagram hipster wet dream” – that’s saying a lot. And it was exactly that.
The decorations? My friends. Damn. They surprised me and decorated the whole place before I even got in…with rose-gold balloons and adorable instagrammable this and that. I can’t. I couldn’t.
The crew? Oh, just 7 of my closest friends all together in one house. No one knowing each other at all. Dealing with some BIG personalities under one roof. All for me. All the love around me the whole time…and trust me, I needed it when I was hungover every morning – ha!
And to top that off, my moms were in town for other reasons, and joined us on my birthday, treating me and my friends to some pre-dinner old fashioneds amongst other goodies! (too much really…)
The activities? Super lame and not fun. We simply partied every night, ate our weight in farm-to-table noshes, barbecue, shrimp and grits, and, oh ya, worked in some honky-tonk. Not to mention that the Airbnb only had one method of playing music…a record player. Any down time was swigging craft beer and listening to Fleetwood Mac…check please!
Each morning, as I sat in a rocking chair sipping French press coffee on the wrap around porch, I thought: Damn. I did it right.
I dreamt this into reality. Manifested some real good shit.
But just 1 or 2 years ago…this trip? The birthday? It was beyond my realm of dreaming. And I don’t mean it like oh my gosh it was absolutely “beyond.”
I seriously mean that I could have never even thought it was possible to have a birthday like this. I hadn’t had a bachelorette…or a wedding…to know the feeling of bringing people together to toast to you. I couldn’t even fantasize something like this.
But now I can.
Now I am the woman who can manifest big ass things into her life.
Who can feel grateful and confident all at once.
Because I am worth it.
I am worthy of the big ass shit.
Eloquent, I know…but it’s the truth.
As a more mature 30-year old of two weeks now, I can safely tell you: Growing up is not a trap.
Because as I grow…I grow. My brain expands. My mind changes.
I cannot wait to see what this next personal new year brings my way. I know it’s going to be ginormous. I know it’s going to change me.
AND I’M READY.
A 30-year old Rose Up