Category: birthday

You’re young until you’re not

We get older.

Some years we get fatter, some years we get skinnier.

Our bank accounts go up, or down.

We buy less beer, more wine.

Pay less rent, sign more contracts.

But always, we get older.

I’m perplexed by the idea that in one day I can be both “m’am” and “girl.” That I look both older and younger.

In between. Guess that’s why they call it mid-twenties.

If I were to sum up what I wanted for this year and all others to come, it would simply be “more.”

More sunsets. More laughter. More friends. More chances. More mistakes. More life.

Because we get older. And if this year has taught me anything, it’s that you never know how much more you have.

Birthday montage

This is the part of the movie where a slow song plays and scenes from the last year of my life fade into each other.

It starts with a month of goodbyes and a plane, lifting off and crossing an ocean. Dissolve to sleepless nights, hurried words and uncertainty. Pan left to the silence of 2am. Star wipe to a few Christmas scenes.

As the tempo picks up, there’s the Colosseum, the Pyramids and some monkeys. Spliced between are books and faces. Cue the Eiffel Tower and sunsets. Fade into sun reflecting off an ocean and then bearing down on the Acropolis. Cut to Scottish hills and the North Sea. Dissolve to extreme close up of a Greek pot and a computer screen. Intersperse people, here and left behind. Fade to black.

So, it’s my birthday. Number 23. And it’s been a hell of a year. I’ve been looking at photos of people and places and I know that there’s no going back. Even if I am, technically, going back. It’s all different. Everything’s changed. And isn’t that the most you could ask for in a year of your life?

This is the song I would put behind this year’s montage:

I’ll be talking about this year for at least a decade. Remember that time I got stuck in Pompeii? Well, when I was in Greece…. You know, in Egypt... Oh, yeah, I got that in Paris.

Dear 23,

You’re going to have to try really hard if you want to contend with 22.



Me and the Mediterranean

Not dead yet

On my 22nd birthday I….

…ate Smilies for dinner. (Yeah, that’s happy-face shaped potatoes that come in a bag. Yum!)

…ate myself sick on cake and candy and ignored the bag of carrots in the fridge.

…shrieked as I jumped on a trampoline.

…was afraid of the dark.

…ate Smores and burnt the marshmallows.

…learned how to play guitar and drums in Rock Band.

…mixed lemonade and Sour Puss and played “I have never.”

…made jokes about Ronald Regan’s doodle.

‘Cause everybody knows it sucks to grow up.

You think after 22 years I’d be used to the spin

I woke up this morning with a funny taste in my head
Spackled some butter over my whole grain bread
Something tastes different, maybe it’s my tongue
Something tastes different, suddenly I’m not so young…


I have a history of being very emo about my birthday. There’s just something about watching another year go by that makes you stop and think about what it’s been worth. In the sum of 365 days, 8760 hours, 525 600 minutes, have you done anything worthwhile?

On August 3rd, 1987, I was born with a red mohawk and bright blue eyes. I was so fair when I was little that people used to ask my mom, who has dark hair and green eyes, whose kid I was. I look like my dad and his side of the family - the Brits and Scots.

And now, twenty-two years later, I sit and think of all of the birthdays that have gone by. I have always been struck by the line from Long December by The Counting Crows, “A long December and it’s easy to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.”

As I stand on the brink of a completely new life, that rings more true than ever. But I’m weary. Because it’s thoughts like these that keep me so fixed in some mythical future, some better life that’s never quite there, and keep me from living in this moment, the today. This year.

It’s taken twenty-two years, but I think I can truly say that this year I am happy with what I’ve done, where I am and where I’m going. So no more birthday emo. Instead, photos of me - featuring my love of cake.


A very intent blowing-out-the-candles face. Birthdays are serious stuff.


An awesome 90s bathing suit, and this time it’s not me making the weird face!

scannedimage-18Not only is that an intense expression, but that is one HOT pink and blue baseball-style shirt.

Two decades

Today is my friend Kaitlyn’s birthday. Kaitlyn and I have known each other since we were two years old. We always use her birthday to measure the years of our friendship, and we always count in decades.

This year, it’s officially been two decades. Kaitlyn is like a sister to me, we know exactly how to piss each other off and how to make each other laugh.

Happy Birthday, Kiwi. Love, Head.