a stranger bought me this...he said "no one should pay for their drinks on their birthday!" :)
a stranger bought me this…he said “no one should pay for their drinks on their birthday!” :)

Another birthday has come and gone…I entered the last year of my twenties struggling to wake up in a hotel room in a casino.

That sounds much more exciting than the reality, which is that I was waking up at the buttcrack of dawn to coach a volleyball tournament in smoky, windy Reno and our team lost terribly. The coach I was with, one of my best friends for 15 years, forgot it was my birthday. My team didn’t say anything, either. After losing, we got to drive four hours home in the blazing sun.

The great thing about Facebook is that you feel a lot of love on your birthday. It was really heartwarming to check all the random notifications of people, come I’ve always been close with, some who I’ve lost contact with, wishing me happy feelings. And texting is so fun with emojis!! I got lots of cute messages.

sometimes i feel like this.
sometimes i feel like this.

Sometimes I get really depressed around my birthday…I don’t know why. Like either very emotional, or completely void of emotion. Oddly, my boyfriend is a little weird about his birthday, too. He likes to keep it a complete secret from people.

Something about this last one, the last year of my twenties, felt heavier and more of a letdown. Why doesn’t my life have a solid feel to it? What direction am I going in? How do I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing?

birthdays of the past...
birthdays of the past…

I could have said “aw the HELL with it! It’s the last year to make mistakes in my twenties! Party! Wear glitter eyeshadow! Drank!”

However, as a sign that I might be growing up and maturing, I recognized that if left to my own devices this Sunday, I would drown the feelings in wine and ice cream and really hate myself in the morning. So instead I decided to go on an adventure.


Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. John Muir
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
John Muir

I took myself on a solo hike….got a little lost in a valley, got covered in bugs, met a snake (it was practically a viper, posed to attack me, I swear!), felt my legs pumping and sweat on my forehead, and I was thirsty and dirty. I talked on the phone with my dad and best friend. I saw a weird scorpion spider thing. Kicked up dust and looked at big old trees and felt the smallness and futility of my fears.

It made the whole day better.

Then I went to my mom’s for a nice impromptu girls night with her and my sisters. We had a yummy healthy meal and some wine and watched Parks & Rec. And I knew all would be right with the world. Twenty nine sounds horrific only because when I was younger, I never imagined life after twenty-five. But. It’s just a number. It’s not how old you are, but how old you feel, etc. And as long as I’m still getting carded for alcohol at least 80% of the time, I have my health and am not allergic to frozen yogurt, I’m going to feel okay about it.

Despite the poison oak, despite the crazy parents and job stress, I’ve dealt with lately, despite the uncertainty of my future, everything was good. Everything IS good. You really do have the power to choose how you will enjoy your life. And I definitely choose to enjoy mine.

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