Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cue the quarter-life crisis?

Tis Friday night and tomorrow is my birthday :)

I'll admit it, I am one of those people that loves birthdays... I blame it on growing up an only child. (I have three half brothers now... the oldest is ten years old!) I've just always been enamored with the attention and the opportunity to unabashedly revel in birthday love from friends and family. A tad bit self-absorbed? Maybe.

One year in high school my best friend Emily decorated my locker with balloons and made me a pin to wear telling the whole high school world it was my birthday. As a result, my history class (which happened to include an inordinate amount of attractive upperclassmen) sang me happy birthday.  I was slightly embarrassed... but loving it deep down :) Fast forward four years later and as college roommates, she surprised me with a wine and cheese party in our dorm room, complete with a custom shirt requiring 20 birthday kisses (which I was to gather over the course of our night out ;). I also donned a tiara. Twas glorious.

Turning twenty was an unforgettable birthday... and surprise!
Birthdays have had a way of winding down with adulthood, especially living abroad. This year, my closest friends in Senegal are on spring break (as we all were last year, although a friend from home was visiting). My family is far, far away so we must rely on Skype to share the birthday love. Its just not the same, sigh.

My first birthday abroad was in Paris, in 2009, when I turned 21. Newsflashthe drinking age is 16 in France, and my birthday was on a cold, rainy Monday night. Add to that the fact that I got on the metro going the wrong direction, got yelled at by a very pushy Parisian for bumping into her, and was one hour late to my birthday dinner, where a group of strangers had to entertain themselves while waiting for me. We dined on Senegalese food and the conversation was strained between the combination of East coast preps, Frenchy snobs, and Southern sorority types (sorry to stereotype!). I will say that the night ended well all due to the guests from Louisiana who were determined to get me dRuNk on my 21st birthdayMonday night, European drinking age, or not!

My beloved student Abiba, in 2011. She warmed my heart every day that school year.

You know, abroad or not, people have made me feel extremely special on my birthday, time and time again... and for that I'm so grateful.

Now that we've taken a little walk down memory lane ;) I'm turning twenty-five (in 15 mintues!). I've been calling myself (almost) 25 for a couple of months now, mostly because I'm by far the youngest in my work and friend circles over here and 25 sounds farrrr more maturrrreeee than 24. I certainly don't have it all figured it out (at all), but things are going in the right direction at least. All in all, I feel good about this. I'm not panicking at my old age, I'm not itching to grow up. 

It feels just. right. And look, its after midnight! ;)

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