Last week was my 25th birthday, and I started to write about it, but got caught up in celebrating and then promptly got sick the next day (yes, there is a probable connection between how late I stayed out and how sick I got.) Then Thanksgiving, another post appropriate occasion, happened, but it didn’t seem right to write a Thanksgiving post before the birthday post, so here instead is a Birthday/Thanksgiving post.
I generally welcome birthdays, because so far I’ve enjoyed each year of my life more than the one before. This is not to say that each year is more fun – I maintain that the two most fun years of my life happened between mid 2001-mid 2003, aka my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Note that I don’t say they were the best years of my life, because they weren’t, but there’s something about that age, 17 to 19, where the amount of freedom you have is so much greater than the amount of responsibility you have* that it’s almost impossible to ever recapture that ratio of fun to tedious ever again.
So no, 24 was not the most fun year of my life, but was also not the least fun (that would be 1997, aka the seventh grade,) and in fact, held some of the most fun moments and experiences that I’ve ever had. The past year has, more than anything else, been a year of transition for me, both good and hard (because I don’t really believe that transitions can be bad.) While the year ahead is looking to be full of the same, I’m hoping that in general it will be full of transition of the slightly more gentle variety. But one of the things I’ve realized this year is that no matter how old you are, at its core life is always about dealing with transition, and all you can hope for is to somehow get through with something that resembles grace.
There are things that help you do this, of course, and here’s where the grateful part comes in. Family and friends, and also good food, and wine, and art, and music. And books. All of the things that make life not only a little easier, but better, more colorful, bigger than us and our problems.
So that’s what I’m thankful for this year. All of those things, but especially my family, who not only supports but encourages me in pursuing a life that looks and feels right for me, even when it doesn’t resemble a typical picture of success. And my friends, who really – I have the best friends that anyone could ever hope for. There’s not much that can or needs to be said about them other than that.