After my dear-God-here-comes-30 panic attack had subsided, I decided to take action and plan a party for my 26th birthday. Surrounded by individuals from various spheres of my life, laughing, dancing, and drinking together as if they had all known each other since before this very moment, I realized (as the lynchpin of the whole soirée) how incredibly humbling and blissful the celebration of your birth can be.
In French, the word for birthday is un anniversaire, derived from the Latin anniversarius meaning “returning yearly”. What I appreciate about the etymology of this French word, is the fact that it has very little to do with the singular persona. It simply refers to a specific, recurring unit of time that can be interpreted as a return to a place, an emotion, a gathering of people, or (as we have come to know it) a day.
Some lucky few may find it easy to reflect on their past, or celebrate life with the people they love regularly and thus do not need a predetermined span of time to which they must return. But for those of us who are too often mired within the daily minutiae, the annual return to a consciously reflective state which celebrates still being above ground, or the friends we have garnered, or the past year’s accomplishments, or the fact that you are standing there in the smallest pants size you have ever worn in your life [shameless fitness plug] is precisely what we need to give us the strength to make it to next year’s return.
Taking inventory of all the things that have altered in your life and all the goals you have yet to cross off your Life List can be a paralysis-inducing experience. But the benefit of an annual return is that, with any luck, you will not necessarily be returning to the same place each year. For me, this past year teemed with seismic shifts that altered everything from how I felt to where I worked to how hard I loved to how I viewed the world and my place in it…if that’s not a blog post waiting to happen, I don’t know what is. The fact remains, Chapter 25 of The Book of Me read pretty slowly...almost as if the author was making it all up as she went along. But towards the end, the plot really started to pick up, a clear and concise focus started brewing and by the beginning of Chapter 26, even I was anxious to see what would come next. As a writer, I rarely share my work before I am satisfied with its completion, and similarly, the major plot points of the forthcoming The Book of Me chapters shall remain a mystery…but as long as I am granted continued annual returns I assure you the finished product will be one hell of a read.
I’ll sign you a copy,