Tuesday, February 7, 2012

what birthdays look like.

There are some years, I think, that call for quieter, more peace-filled celebrations.

26, so far, has been one of those, and I am grateful.

I think the quiet years may be the ones that suit me best, the ones that remind me of the gift of introspection, of close friends and meaningful relationships.

This weekend, Jordan surprised me with a small gathering of people I've really come to love over the weeks and months and years, and when I think back to the semi-raucus party that rang in my 25th year, I realize just how much growing up I've done.

Smaller and quieter, I realize, doesn't many any less joy-filled.

Over the past couple of days, I've done a lot of thinking about this year versus last year, about turning 25 versus turning 26. I've thought about the different ways I chose to celebrate this milestone and what those differences might mean about the person I'm becoming.

This year, there was no blow-out birthday party with catered food and fun music and color-coordinated invitations. I didn't even give my birthday much thought until we'd reached mid-January, a record that confused and startled friends and family. When asked what I wanted to do for the big day, I simply didn't have an answer. It's not that I was ambivalent. It's just that this year, I've felt quiet, at peace. Content.

You know what?

I think that's okay.

Because sometimes, the years are about self-discovery, about sitting back and eating cupcakes and planning small adventures and setting down roots and being grateful for the life you have. Other years are about exploring, about taking big leaps and making big decisions.

Maybe 26 will look like that later; I guess I can't be too sure.

For now, though, 26 looks calm and happy and peaceful and bright.

I am so, so glad.


Denise said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your birthday! I'm about to turn 25 and I just want a quiet date with my hubby. Happy late birthday!

jenna said...

I am so, so glad for you! Love you Annie! Thankful that God is leading you by quiet waters. HE is so good to us.

Kim Humes said...

I totally agree that you don`t have to have a loud, drunken party to have fun. I`m so over that actually - don`t get me wrong, I like to have a few drinks and be loud sometimes, but I think you can have fun in a `quieter way as well that`s all. I'm so over spending weeks and weeks planning and having every detail perfect too. I much prefer casual get-togethers now that everyone pitches in on...it's so much less stressful. You can actually enjoy the good friends and good food bc you're not running amuck arranging things!

Annie said...

I love this post. I've spent most of the past few birthdays just celebrating with family and a friend or two. I find I like the simpler celebrations better. I hope you truly enjoyed your birthday, even though you were sick and didn't have a big party. I loved reading about your party last year, but I love reading your birthday reflections this year, and I'm thankful that you've spent both showing us what it looks like to celebrate.

TefMarie said...

What a lovely birthday celebration indeed! It's good to appreciate those quiet birthdays along with the wild ones. Glad it was exactly what you needed.

Sabrina said...

Your birthday celebration looked just right....and it seemed like it was just the type of time that you needed! It's still your birth month though so keep up the simple celebrations:)