Birthdays always seem to lead to a lot of reflection about yourself and where you are at this certain point in life. What have you done with your life so far? Do you feel older and wiser? Have you done what you'd thought you'd do by now? Are you happy about what you're doing and where you are?
It was my birthday yesterday. I can't help but sit in silence, almost disbelief, with wide-eyes about the life I've living. The last year of living has been so...grand.
My birthday last year was one of my favorite birthdays ever:
My wonderful and beloved sister organized a surprise lunch at one my favorite restaurants in Logan. All of my best friends were there. They all shared things they loved about me. I felt exactly how one should feel on their birthday--special.
Ian's turn came. He said some of the nicest things I've ever heard a person say about another person. And he was talking about me. Me! Ian Thorley was talking about me, Anna James!
Later, Ian and I went to a movie. I put my head on his shoulder.
After, we got Chinese food. I got a great fortune cookie.
That night, we watched Adventure Time together. I put my hand on his, he put his head on my shoulder.
I remember going to bed with adrenaline pumping through my veins and a zillion thoughts in my head. It was a pivotal day in our relationship. Nothing grand happened that day, but our history, which was complex and often confusing, made it significant. We had our first date two weeks later.*
22 was my best year. It was the best time to be Anna.
This last birthday was very different. Ian made me breakfast in bed. We went to church where I stumbled through half-French-half-English conversations and "bon anniversaire" greetings from our small, but tight-knit community. After church, Ian and I and the missionaries met with an Muslim man from Egypt where we talked about Jesus for two and a half hours. We went home and Ian made the most scrumptious dinner and he gave me the most thoughtful gifts. We fell asleep early. It was simple and low-key, but it was perfect. Ian loved the crap out of me and it was honestly so awesome.
After this last birthday, it clicked in my head--it's only going to get better from here. I'm so excited for the birthdays to come when Ian makes birthday breakfast for not just me, but for our kid snuggled up next to me and for when we celebrate the 16th birthday for our inevitably ungrateful teenager and for when Ian turns 50 and feels weird about it and for when we celebrate our grandchild's first birthday with lots and lots of cake and eventually for when we can't remember our birthdays or our ages.
Life is sweet with him. And I can't wait to keep celebrating it. Here's to 23.**
*This is the most simplified telling I've ever said about the beginnings of Ian and I. It's almost comical. Because how we became to be is a much deeper story filled with wonderful memories--he has been my best friend for a long time and I love it--but it was also filled with struggles and confusion for me. I still have a hard time talking about the details without crying. But I cry about everything. I'm the biggest boob in the Northern Hemisphere so take that with a grain of salt.
Eventually I'll get around to sharing more of the whole story. Another post, another time.
**BUT. I have been told that "nobody likes you when you're 23." A crappy year might just be in the cards.
***Also: I have been gluttonously listening to this song for days because it's awesome and fun and is relating to birthdays which is why I was listening to it I'm not just obsessed with Katy Perry it's not like that okay just leave me alone.