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Archive for the tag “birthdays”

A Different Kind Of Party

Hey hey folks,

It’s me again, and I’m back.

I’m still on a high from a great week of doing all of the things I want to do. I kicked off 32 last Wednesday, at a local venue called the Strathmore after I treated myself to a great meal. At the Strathmore Mansion (a mansion next door to the large performance complex), I treated my ears to the lovely vocal stylings of Christie Dashiell. You may remember her as one of the lead singers of The Sing Off Season three stand out vocal group “Afro Blue.”

Watching her sing flanked by her very talented brothers on stand up bass and drums, I was witnessing something. And I knew that sooner or later she’s going to be ridiculously famous and well-respected in the jazz world for years to come.

By Friday, I had a “date” with a guy who I consider to be a friend, who I’m figuring wants more. I don’t mind him being around, but I’m not feeling him like that.

Saturday was the big night. About 12 friends joined me for a five-course Indian feast, made complete with a belly dancer. And I joined her and the crowd hooted and hollered, cheering me and my fabulous self on!

After the marathon meal, we sang and danced at a Karaoke spot where you can rent private karaoke rooms by the hour. We had a blast. All week, folks have asked did I party hard? Well, I wasn’t sloppy drunk, or even drunk at all.

I quickly had a glass of wine and maybe one drink, but was too busy mingling and swapping fun stories with some of the most fantastic people I know, drinking wasn’t the main thing on my mind.

I kept saying, as I mature, “It’s a different kind of party.” I like to have drinks, but I don’t surround my weekend around it. The people in my life made my weekend and my entire week. Folks showed up with gifts and love and smiles and warm hugs and I couldn’t have been happier.

I wasn’t even expecting gifts. I was being real when I said that none of those things mattered. I just wanted people to have a good time. Folks were expected to pay for their own meals, and I provided two hours of karaoke. Whatever drinks or extras they purchased there, they’d have to take care of individually.

Sunday, I enjoyed a great brunch with my cousin went to check out American Hustle which is an awesome movie and enjoyed the sorry football game with another good friend and her family. I was serenaded and presented with red velvet cupcakes.

Monday was my actual birthday and it was super low-key, which I didn’t mind. Before my cousin returned to New York, we had lunch after my 90 minute hot stone appointment. I think I like hour massages better. 90 minutes may be too long, but it was still heavenly anyway. Good times.

I was most excited when a gentleman caller who I am very interested in asked me if I had plans for the evening. It was a simple outing to a local steakhouse, but I enjoyed every minute. We cuddled by the fire at his home after and enjoyed an even hotter kiss. I was golden.

Being 32 is fantastic. I didn’t need to be in a club. I didn’t need a whole lot of alcohol, or not to remember what happened the night before to signal I had an epic night. Because it was just the opposite. And I was happy to remember it all and I will cherish the memories from my week for a very long time.

Oh, and to put the icing on the birthday cake, I was fourth row center witnessing the breath stealing Alvin Ailey Dance Company last night. They never disappoint. I love that their annual engagement at the Kennedy Center always falls on or around my birthday. It makes the time feel even more special as if they are celebrating me!!!

I just told a friend of mine, it’s an excellent feeling to have the people you love the most tell you all at the same time that you mean so much to them and that they love you and that they are glad you are a part of their life. It doesn’t make you conceited. It doesn’t make you a jerk to take those moments in and accept their gifts, and favors or when they reach to take the bill and shoo you away. I’m so glad to have these beautiful people to walk through life with.

And so far it’s been a great life at that. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.


Confession Wednesday: I Kinda Like Planning Parties and Butterflies?

Hey folks.

What a week. I ran my first 5k ever, I seem to have lost 5 pounds, might have met someone who makes me feel all fuzzy, like may have the potential to put some fertilizer around my Grinch heart to make it grow again, and there was Hurricane Sandy.


Oh boy.

I’ve been itchin to write the 5k post, but I need to take my time on that one, because I have some interesting thoughts and feelings on the whole experience, and this post may rival the infamous first Zumba class post that I wrote that actually led to me being Freshly Pressed, which still amazes me.

Even if I don’t get the same kind of love, I just want it to be good, because it was a great moment for me, and I can’t find the video clip of this car commercial that features audio texts that a woman gets after she ran a marathon and was limping back to her car. And I need that clip to really illustrate how crazy I was looking after the race when the adrenaline left the building.

So back to the confessions.

A good, good friend who I admire and love, her birthday is today. Halloween.

Since she’s taking her little one trick or treating, she has expressed that she’d rather celebrate over the weekend with a little get together at my home featuring our favorite “bad” movies and a little food and some sweets.

I’m all about it.

I instantly started looking up recipes for appetizers and have been in plan mode. It’s easy to get this way because, I love this person, but more and more I think I’m starting to realize that I do enjoy hosting and making sure folks have a damn good time.

I don’t do it often.

I don’t.

But when I do, I’m serious about it. And there is something about Fall and Halloween that make certain intimate gatherings even more fun and more intimate and you can have foods and drinks that warm you up and there’s just something about the hearth and home feeling you get. I really love Thanksgiving too. I secretly enjoy cooking when I don’t feel rushed and feeding people and having people like what I make. Oh so there’s another confession.

I have a feeling I’ll be shopping for goodies and surprises for my friend even though she said, not to make a big fuss.

So, she reads this blog.

Hunny, I’m going to go to the Dollar Store (the place where I go to stock up for all of my parties).  So see? No trouble at all!

Next confession.

This came out of no where as it often does.

I’m crushing on someone.

He’s younger. I’m usually anti younger, but he’s 28, that doesn’t count. Two years, ok. I can work with it.

The online wasteland actually coughed up something of interest.

He sends texts, but wait!

He actually calls, like we have conversations. Last night we talked from 9 p.m. til about 12:30 a.m. He even said, “Take your butt to bed, we gotta go to work tomorrow, but I don’t want to get off the phone.”

To which I replied, “Awww. I feel special.” I started singing that reggae song, “I’m so special.” I could feel him shaking his head through the phone as he kept saying, “Really?” “Really?”

I spared him from me doing this….

We have interesting conversations and we can even crack jokes. He gets my sense of humor and I think he’s pretty funny, which is crucial.

He seems smart, well-adjusted and has gone on enough of his share of bad dates too. We like the same types of music and he grew up in a religious family too.

He’s educated, seems to have a pretty good job, but he doesn’t lead with that.

Lives alone.

I actually like seeing his name in my phone. That’s a super good, good sign.

We have not set up a date yet, although he tried to convince me to ditch working online yesterday (while the rest of the east coast was off work, ahem) to join him at IHOP. Oh, I was tempted.

But I look forward to whenever we do actually hang out. I’m really hoping the chemistry is just as good in person.

This is refreshing, because I just never gave younger guys a chance. I did once, last year, he was 22. I was being absurd.

I gave him some and he wouldn’t leave me alone. Calling my house all times of night (typical college hours, but not grown employed folk hours).

So, I decided if months ago I could go 17 years older, what in the world is the harm of going two years younger?

I don’t want to get my hopes up. I don’t. But I can’t help but think, something is different about this one, which kind of by default is getting my hopes up.

Down hopes, down.

These are my confessions. Shhh. Don’t tell noooobody.

I leave you with some vintage Floetry. “Butterflies” Live!!!

PR Press Tour: An Ambassador for 30

renjith krishnan/freeimages.net

So as word spreads that my birthday is quickly approaching, my co workers surprised me with lunch and a celebratory cake today since I’m off on Friday, my actual birthday.

Some people asked how old I was as cake was being cut and distributed, I told them it was a milestone year and flashed a smile. The women nodded, they knew (most of the women in my office are 40+).

I call this the press tour, because so far I have been asked some interesting questions aside from the usual what are your plans? (People at work are digging my plan to go to Medieval Times, fyi)

1. Are you where you thought you’d be?

My answer: No. But honestly, I think about the things I thought I wanted by now and I’m relieved, because maybe I’d be miserable if I actually ended up where I thought I should be right now.

2. How do you feel? I was sad I was turning 30.

My answer: I don’t feel sad at all. I’m actually looking forward to it. I don’t feel as self-conscious, I’m the most comfortable with myself than I’ve ever been, and if that’s going to continue to grow, I’m very excited about this decade.

3. What do you hope for in the next 10 years?

My answer: I’d like to have a family. Good health, a roof over my head and to have enough money to travel when I’d like and occasionally buy myself a nice pair of shoes. I want to be happy. There was a time I thought I wanted to be Oprah or running some large massive company, but as I get older, I really want to be happy and financially secure.

It was quite ironic that when all of the cake was had, the chunk that remained was “happy”. I took a photo of it, and thought to myself, God speaks to us through everything. I can’t even trip off of those people who see Jesus in a burnt potato chip or in a milkshake; if you are moved or inspired to be a better person off of that, then so be it.

Back to my point. It just hit me looking at that last hunk of cake with the word happy staring back at me, bold and almost as if it were a directive and a one-word fortune cookie all wrapped up in one.

Then I thought, if happiness is all that’s left, then you are doing quite alright.

Maybe that’s deep. Maybe I’m on a sugar high.

But it looks like now that I’m entering the 30 club, I also have a job to be an ambassador of good will for 30.

30 is nothing to fear.

30 is not a hard deadline for your best and only life achievements.

It’s okay to pursue success, it’s okay to pursue happiness and it’s ok to switch off and focus on one more than the other, but find ways to come back to center.

It’s ok to know that success and happiness is defined by you and only you and if anyone takes their measuring stick and tries to line it up to your life, you tell them to mind their own damn business.

It’s ok to take a risk.

It’s ok to tell folks no. Really. It’s ok.

As an ambassador for 30, I’ve put together an oath for myself.

(Raising right hand) I will spread the good will and good news of being 30 and be a well-adjusted, happy, yet realistic woman.

I will accept what life has given me and I will do my part to improve my circumstances.

I will not compare my life to others, because I do not know or want to know what struggles and sacrifices they have to suffer through. God is sparing me from their sorrows.

I will be more patient with myself and others and understand timing is everything.  I want all of the positive dreams and goals I have to make themselves available at the most optimal time of my life so I may enjoy them to the fullest and be a blessing to others.

I will be truthful to others and share that life is not always easy.

I will be truthful to myself and to others when I want to say no, and I will not change my mind just to satisfy someone else out of guilt.

I will protect my heart, health and spirit at all costs.

I will be an example that life at 30 is liberating and filled with adventure and promise as well as challenges and struggles. Through good times and bad, I will maintain my integrity and dignity. 

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