Last week was my birthday.
Another year past, but it's still just the beginning. Sometimes it's hard to remember that and the pressure of time frames and schedules can be overwhelming.
Like Christmas, like New Years, like all the milestones we place in our lives as gauges of how and where and why we are in certain situations, a birthday is up there with the mother of all milestones.
On a birthday we tend to lose sight of the big picture and it becomes all about us. We put a magnifying glass on our highs, lows and our 'did I actually fucking do that's'. This usually (with a few drinks involved) results in the conclusion that things just aren't going the way we had anticipated they would when we did this exact same exercise 12 months ago. It is because of this we can all relate to the lyrics "It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to..." sad, but as a witness to myself and friends, true.
This year was different though.
Sure I cried about things, sure I was completely inappropriately drunk on a Wednesday, sure I woke up with mild regret (may or may not have been to do with attempting the Dirty Dancing lift in a short dress in a small bar, ahem) but I also woke up happy... at 4pm the next day.
On my birthday I was surrounded by my friends, I spoke to everyone I truly loved and I was in a better place than I had anticipated I would be 12 months ago.
Each year we lay claim that this will be our best for any number of reasons. Everything will be just hunky dory and nothing will get in our way. The last year has shown me that downfalls, loss and troubles are all a part of the intricate web that's weaved in our life.. and here's the kicker, these shit things do somehow make things better in the long run... who woulda' thought?
I'm making no grand statements about this being the best year, the chips can fall where they may. They will regardless of what I declare. I'm realising that's how life has to be, how it should be.
So, I will see where the wind and the world take me this year, to ensure that life isn't a matter of milestones but moments instead. I'm done with the pressure of expectations, from others, but mostly from myself. So it's time to enjoy and do the little things that make me happy, if that means doing revealing dance lifts in a bar, so be it, I was beyond joy.
This week I took an afternoon to lay in the sun by the water in my favourite place I have ever been. I took pictures because I like taking pictures, I patted all the dogs that were running past because they were god damn cute and I chatted and laughed with the people who would walk to the end of the jetty to see if the girl laying motionless there was alive or not. The happiness was like nothing I had felt for a while.
Also two things happened today that just made me want to smile and squeeze people's faces with joy:
Firstly, I watched a scary looking biker pull up at a red light beside a car that had a little kid marveling at him in the back. He high fived the little boy, chatted to him about his matchbox car, passed him a finger skateboard out of his pocket and then roared off while the boy was in hysterical laughter. Sweet.
Secondly, there was a man of about 70 years completely in his own world as he danced by himself to the sound of the buskers in Pitt St Mall. He just kept going and was still there when I left.
Yep, despite the downs, I think there's hope for us all yet...