Coming up on twenty-nine has been fun. It was my “golden birthday”, which of those of you who aren’t into super trendy millennial things means the year that I turn the number of my birthday day- in my case twenty-nine on November 29th. If you are curious why I chose to celebrate some random, abstract not essential made up day, let me make it clear for you. I only did it because I wanted a reason to buy and wear a gold dress.
Maybe it’s one of those boujiee moments that we all have, or maybe it was some unmet princess fantasy. I mean I’m very rarely an actual damsel in distress, and I’d rather wear jeans and ball caps 90% of the time, but even I love my princess moments. The gold dress is mine.
So, I did. I bought a floor-length, backless, sequined gold dress. I threw myself on the mercy of the most girly and talented friend I have to do my makeup and take some photos for me, to remember the gold dress of course!
So come photo day, she painted me with makeup and I threw on my beautiful gold dress and then me and two friends climbed precariously up on the roof where I learned that not only do I have awesome friends who are talented makeup artists and photographers (cough, cough Kendy) but also have some pretty dope wingman, hype man friends too. Standing on the rooftop trying to pose as the sun is going down is about as awkward for me as first dates. I mean, I know that something cool has potential to come out of it, but I also feel super uncomfortable doing it. But Lauren turned on hype music and was the best support and telling me I looked beautiful as well as slayed the main task of making me actually laugh (cause fake laughter is weird guys). I had a blast laughing and posing awkwardly up on the rooftop with them as we caught the last few rays of sunshine and shimmied down the ladder.
Yes I climbed the ladder in my gold, sequined, backless dress. Let’s be clear. If climbing is ever an option, I’m down for the adventure no matter what I’m wearing.
Wrap my one princess-y moment and fast forward to my actual birthday when I did something I’ve never done before.
I celebrated my birthday by myself. On purpose.
Now having a birthday so close to a major holiday means I have had some dissatisfactory turn outs at some birthdays in the past. But this year I chose to put on my gold dress, drive into the city and enjoy a delicious meal, with hope of some good live music as well. Steak, scallops, and shrimp, OH MY (do you catch the reference?). I sat alone in my spectacular gold dress and enjoyed my food while I journaled a little about my hopes for 29 and reveled in my princess moment to the fullest. Even went so far as to pay for an uber so I didn’t have to drive my princess self-home. I treated myself big time.
So why am I telling you all this? Is it just to revel in the gold-dress?
A little bit.
But I also have taken some time to think this week about my life and love and outlook for my future even as I reflect on my past and had some thoughts then and now to share
- Being in any stage of singleness doesn’t mean you stop living life. I know that is a given for some but harder for others. Maybe you aren’t ready to spend a birthday at an expensive restaurant solo, but maybe there are things that you have been putting off- taking a dance class, cooking class, trying a new spot. Even in my own situation one of the things I was thinking about is, does wearing my gold dress out mean anything if no one is there to appreciate it? Truth is that I am adored by my King. Dressing up isn’t in celebration of that fact, but the more secure I become in my identity as his, the more I realize that I do already have a partner to do life with and can celebrate regardless of who is surrounding me.
- Life is not meant to be lived alone. I know that seems contradictory to what I just said but hang in there with me. While I went out for a fancy dinner in my fancy dress solo, I also woke up that morning and hugged my dad after digging out my car from the snow. I also drove over to see my nieces and nephew and best friends for a little while and got in lots of snuggles. Even afterwards I celebrated several times with other friends and spent the next day surrounded by more people I love. Especially having gone through certain traumas in my life, I recognize how important my people are. I cannot survive without love and community- whether the chosen or biological version for you, don’t choose to neglect family in your life.
- Listen to your heart. Mind you I didn’t say follow your heart. Your heart is a great thing that tells you where you are in life. Emotions are great signals. They do not define truth. But taking the time to slow down and listen to your heart will reveal a great deal. Is your heart calling for adventure, affection, attention, rest, healing? Don’t ignore it. Don’t assume your heart knows the source or the solution, but listen to it. Then when you have listened to hear what is going on, take your heart to the Lord, to your close friends, to your family to fix or input what is needed. If loneliness, find quality connection with someone who loves you- call your sister, sit on the couch with a friend, play videogames with a good buddy. If the opposite is true and you feel like skipping or punching something you are so happy, CELEBRATE- call a friend who is a good hype man, have a random praise sesh to some Kanye as you drive home, use creative skills as an outlet for expression. Get to know your heart and what the signals indicate and live with heart abandoned.
Really nothing I’ve written is profound or life-changing. Really just a few of my birthday reflections. As I cross into twenty-nine (and next year 30 years old!!!) I think about how I probably wouldn’t have imagined my life as it is now when I was a kid. Not that I had any designs of being married or having kids by now, I really didn’t. I don’t know what I would have imagined it to be like honestly.
But whatever I would have imagined, this is better. Living the adventure is better.
Knowing my own heart is better. Walking intimately as a King’s daughter so adored is better. Learning to walk through the good, bad, lovely, ugly, lonely, and full moments of my life at 29 is better. I can’t wait to see what this year holds.