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.