A lady never tells her age, but I've officially reached my own version of mid-life. And with that comes a lot of chapters, a lot of closed books and a lot of growth. But most prominently those decades have brought me a sense of independence. I'm an only child. I was raised to fend for myself with only the help of my Mom & Dad. They've stood by my trials, my tribulations. And they've allowed me to fly solo when necessary, always waiting on the ground should a wing break. And let me tell ya, I've broken a lot of wings. As I've grown older, I've learned to dislike my birthday. Maybe it's because as a child it always fell on spring break and the weather was always bad so nobody would ever come to my party. It always left me disappointed. One year in my 20s I even ended up with a terrible head trauma in the hospital for three days after an accident. Three years ago, Covid happened. Needless to say I've taken a solo trip to celebrate my trip around the sun each year for a decade, turning off notifications and pretending like my b-day never really happened.
This year, I realized I didn't want to do it alone. Because I AM getting older. Which means...so are Mom & Dad. And life is so short. This last decade of solitude - not just on my b-day but in all aspects of my life - has left me, well, lonely. Mom & Dad 1400 miles away. No siblings, no big family or cousins nearby. No significant other. My small handful of friends all thousands of miles away as well. I have a dog. And that's it. So this year, I had one wish. To NOT be alone. So I packed up the dog, packed up my folks, and off we went to my favorite place on earth for a week TOGETHER.
And the memories I made in a week with the people and pup I love the most will last me through the second half of this life. I even let Dad tell me happy birthday every meal, every day for the whole vacation. Because celebrating this life isn't so bad. Aging isn't so bad. And neither is allowing people into your life.
So this next year will be different. The next year will be about relationships - not only with the ones I love. But with the one I have with myself. Here's to another year of growth. AND LOVE.