February in Michigan is arguably the gloomiest, most depressing month available to the human race. It’s a stream of days without sun, a mix between harsh snowstorms and wet, icy rains. It’s cold in your bone marrow. Then there will be a day full of sun and the temperature will sky-rocket to 35 degrees and everyone hugs and rejoices in the end of winter and we go running outside in our tank tops, and then the next day we wake up to schools being closed due to a fresh foot of brown snow. Brown snow, people. It exists.
But February is my birth month, and if you know me, you know how much I love my birthday. Sometimes I even get too excited to enjoy it.
For example, last year:
Three of my work friends had won hundreds of dollars to spend at our gorgeous establishment that I’m honored to work at. They also won rooms at the JW Marriott hotel in Grand Rapids. These friends invited little old me to dine with them on behalf of my birthday and invited me to stay with them at the hotel. We are talking concierge floor with free drinks, food, killer views. I mean, come on.
You can read the full post here (ooooh, someone learned how to add links…and yes, I’m aware that that should be basic computer knowledge), but I ended up getting so excited that I made myself sick and had to leave dinner early, missing out on savory bottles of wine and even better company.
A couple years before that, when I still lived in Jackson, I woke up to my roommate and dear friend, Betsy (she is an incredible photographer, find her webpage here) who had made me breakfast and mimosas. It was the perfect birthday morning. After that I did a little dog-walking (yes, it was one of my many professions there) and went home to take a nap. Again, Betsy woke me up to remind me we had dinner plans before our night on the town. I was still a little goofy from the mimosas, but managed to pull myself together to go to dinner.
I again was so excited for my birthday night that the wine flowed a little to smoothly. We left dinner and crossed the street to a sports bar to play some pool. At one point I stood up from my stool, the wine went straight to my head as the blood drained from it, and I fell face first, smashing my head into the side of the pool table. Thankfully, I had two wonderful gentlemanly friends carry my home, tuck me into bed and set a bag of frozen peas on my head. It was 9pm.
Birthdays man, I love them a little too much.
This year, however, I did everything I could to remain calm. I went to class, got a manicure, pedicure (thank you, Ryan), and then relaxed as I gussied up for the evening. (I love any excuse to get fancy). Ryan and I had dinner plans to eat at one of our favorite seafood spots downtown, but as the afternoon led to evening, February took hold once again and transformed a partly cloudy morning into a disastrous snowstorm of an evening. Ryan got stuck in stand still traffic.
I called the restaurant to see if they could push back our reservation a half hour. The lady on the other line informed me, “We are hoping to close early, so just get here whenever you can.” No pressure.
Good news, people. I didn’t smash my head on anything, I was able to eat my entire meal, and I only broke one glass.
I was nervous about turning 27, because if you’ve been following this at all, you know that I’m not at the same place in my life as most of my 27-year-old friends, and there are still some times when I’m hard on myself about it. But the fact of the matter is that, if my life had gone the way my mind sometimes wishes, I would have missed out on so many of the best things that life has brought me to.
I know I’m being vague and wishy-washy, but I hope that when you start thinking about the shoulda-woulda-couldas in your life, you also remember that every single thing happens for reasons we will never understand. The things you think are terrible in your life right now could ultimately lead you to happiness you never thought existed. Just wait, and then thank me later.
To Birthdays, because they’re secretly just another day,
Also, nine days….that’s it….just nine more days…..
I’ll take you with me in spirit.