Since I started this website, I have gotten into the habit of writing a little something every year right before my birthday. Two years ago, I lay on my bed writing a reflection before I went to dinner with two of my best friends and boyfriend at the time. Last year, I was also on my bed, planning a last minute shindig with a few friends after the travel plans I made fell through. That party ended up being a lot of fun. It is interesting to see who will be there for you last minute. In a city like Los Angeles, not too many people can come to a party in a week’s notice. That party did end up being one of the most fun I have had yet, not to mention the delicious red velvet cake.
A friend of mine once said to me one of her favorite things about me as a friend was that she loved my ability to be honest and admit fault. I know that sounds odd, and she didn’t say it in those exact words, but what she meant was, I am the type of person, when I do something that isn’t right, I admit it. I will admit being negative, or saying something shitty, or doing something I knew was wrong. Some people dodge those things, but I don’t. In the end she didn’t stick around as a friend. I will admit openly that I think it was my fault, but she never let me actually tell her that.
My point of sharing this little story is that by now, entering the ripe kinda old-but-not age of 38, I have done my share of the wrong thing. I have been a bad friend. I have been mean to my family. I have turned my head away from someone who might have needed help. I have been lazy when I should have worked harder. I have stayed in the wrong relationships just to have someone around. I have been negative when I should have just kept my mouth shut.
I thought perhaps my accumulations of wrongdoings were going to keep me from ever having things I wanted in the future. I had started my career, I was starting to do things I enjoyed, but even that has had its ebbs and flows. I remember crying at my birthday party last year, because even though all these wonderful friends came out last minute for me, there was something missing. There was a void that no career move, no amount of money, no friend, could fill.
One year later, I am writing this birthday reflection from a balcony oceanside in Poipu Beach in Kauai. It is dark, but I can hear still hear the ocean and smell the salt water and see the fire from the tiki torches lit around the premises. Even though I have been wrong and done the wrong thing many times, I was still able to get something I have always desired.
Sitting next to me is my partner and first real love. I’ve been waiting for him for 37 years. And I know he would drop everything in a minute’s notice for me. I apologize in advance if this sounds cheesy or makes you want to vomit, but I have wished for him just like many other women wish for their life partner. People say to just do you and someone will come into your life when you least expect, but that didn’t work for me. I looked for him, I didn’t wait for him to find me. Then I met him about 6 months ago and like people say, it just happened. It really did. He called me and asked me out. I didn’t have to play games. He told me he didn’t want me to date anyone else. He told me he missed me. He told me he was crazy about me. Three months in, in the middle of the night, he told me he loved me. A little before the fourth month he moved in. I went on a trip during the fifth month and when I came home he had printed all the pictures he had of us and framed them. The sixth month, he surprised me with the birthday trip of a lifetime, 9 days in Kauai.
So here we are. “We” not “I”. “Ours” not “Mine”. It took some time to get used to. I got scared so many times, thinking about the past, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Of course there are no promises, but I am so in love with this amazing, generous, loving, fun, funny and sweet human being. He lifts me up every day, and although you do have to love yourself first there is no greater feeling in the world for me than to feel this kind of love from another. He fills my heart with joy every time I look into his eyes and spending this birthday with him, calling each other by our silly nicknames, driving around the island of Kauai, listening to music and singing at the top of our lungs, kissing and holding hands. This is what was missing in my life.
So here’s to another year. I’ve learned this year that it is okay to do the wrong thing, because it might just lead you in the right direction. It is okay to look for whatever you think is missing in your life. Chances are it is not going to fall into your lap. It is okay to do the wrong thing, because you’re human, and as cliche as it sounds, you learn from your mistakes and eventually you get better at things like career paths, friendships and intimate relationships.