Feliz Cumpleaños to me!!!
I am so thankful to have lived twenty wonderful years on this earth. To be honest, whenever I hear people complain about getting older and dreading yet another birthday, it slightly bothers me. Each and every birthday we have is a privilege, not a guarantee. There are so many people who are not as lucky and are not here to celebrate turning another year older and wiser.
On a lighter note… Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s my favorite day of the year (not for the reason you may think) because I love Mexican food and today offers the perfect excuse to go stuff my face with chips & guac! Mmmm… My mouth is watering just typing this.
Over the past two decades, lots of people have acknowledged my positive attitude and have asked about how I stay upbeat. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten is to count your blessings when you feel down. Normally this entails jotting down three or four things that make me happy.
Sooooo in order to celebrate my 20th, I decided to make a list of 20 things that have brought me little joys over my 7,300 days of life! Here goes nothin…
- cheese fries from Portillo’s
- looking at pictures of koalas (seriously could do this for hours…)
- Sunday afternoon naps
- phone dates with long-distance friends (Megan: this for you)
- cheesy (and always predictable) Lifetime movies
- meeting new people who make you laugh
- walking into a store
- walking out of a store that hasn’t taken any of your money (ok, not the best feeling, but it sure makes my bank account happy!)
- getting an A on an exam you worked your a$$ off for
- Carrie Bradshaw’s words of wisdom
- The Chicago Cubs
- impromptu dance parties (Al & Jo)
- finishing a workout (the lack of oxygen I receive makes me delusional, creating the illusion that maybe working out isn’t so bad… okay, just kidding… it sucks.)
- the fresh smell of the air after a thunderstorm
- ♥doodling in the margins of your class notes♥
- Keith Urban lovesongs
- receiving unexpected flowers (cough-cough, nudge-nudge 😉 )
- the orange color your fingers turn when eating an entire bag of Cheetos
- a nice conversation with your Uber driver after a bad date (ha, too many of these to count)
- Pep talks & wine nights with your soul sister (Maddie)
- laughing so hard that you feel like you just did an ab workout
Ok, you caught me… I added an extra one for good luck!
By no means do I have all the answers to finding happiness. I’ve only had the honor of living on this earth for twenty years… I have many more trials and errors ahead of me and I am very aware of that. One of the greatest things in life is that it is filled with second, third and even fourth chances. I have made countless mistakes, trusted the wrong people, and hurt some of my loved ones. But with every downtown or tough time in life, I have found that there are people who wanted to pick me up, help put back my pieces and made me whole again. Now I know that not everyone may have a Maddie or a Megan to turn to like I do, but I promise that you may find loyal friends in the most unexpected places. Go out of your way to make someone’s day. A simple gesture goes very far. Above all, you are stronger than you think, so hang on tight! Life is always throwing new obstacles your way and you’ve gotta be prepared for the twists and turns.
So thank you to the special people who have made these past 7,300 days not only delightful, but also silly, meaningful and exciting (you know who you are). Thank you for making me feel bright and sparkly even when I felt the light inside me darken. Thank you for making me whole. Because of you I am confident that the next birthdays I am (hopefully) lucky enough to celebrate are spent with laughs, optimism and a full heart. Okay, enough of that sappy stuff, now go eat a taco with your BFF!
See? Told you they were irresistible…