24: Dance, Reflect, Create…Repeat

Yikes! Has it really been two weeks since my last post? In all honestly, I took a step away to revel in pouts and deep sighs as I prepared myself for my 24th year of rotation. That’s right. I am now 24 years old and this year’s birthday will definitely be one to remember.

For the past five years, I’ve spent my birthday with friends, far away from home. Whatever celebrations that took place, whether calm or lit, these birthdays have been beautiful memories shared in beautiful places with beautiful people. Yet, as I mentioned  in my previous post, I’m currently in Mississippi with my family and things have been a little drab. The burning question for the last two weeks: “Will this birthday be sad and uneventful without friends around?” Almost giving in to complete sadness, I finally came up with an idea to include my friends in my special day, regardless of distance.

I decided to request fun/meditative/silly/self-care ideas from friends in order to create a list of 24 things that I had to do in the 24 hours of my birthday on September 24th. And boy, did my lovelies commit to the idea. After receiving 50+ thoughtful, creative, and hilarious suggestions, I was able to narrow it down to 24 item “to do” list. It was such a fun-filled day doing things such as “dancing naked in my room”, “writing a poem about things I love”, “decorating my own birthday cake”, “reflecting on highlights of my 23rd year” and even “blowing up Instagram with countless hot selfies.” It really was a beautiful day of which I could spend with both friends and family.

I want to summarize three of my favorite things that I did that day and what type of impact they’ve made on me.

My mom and sis decided to cross off “exploring somewhere new” on my list together, as we all crammed into the car and headed towards Bay St. Louis. This was such a surprise, because I’ve already made assumptions about the Gulf Coast, thinking that I could never find anything remotely interesting as the many places that I’ve traveled to. I KNOW, I KNOW! That sounds so pompous and condescending, but trust me… If you’re coming from a big city to the Gulf Coast…please don’t expect the fast pace that you normally encounter. Mississippi is slower paced, spread out, and isn’t booming with various businesses. Back to Bay St. Louis. It was such a lovely small city to explore, very progressive and hipster. There were used book stores, Frida Kahlo graffiti, vintage/thrift stores, and cool little cafes. This “to do” item really allowed me to stop, acknowledge and appreciate Mississippi and it’s little tucked away gems.

My second favorite thing was to “create and decorate my own cake, then eat more than is appropriate.” I haven’t really had a birthday cake from a bakery since I left for college, which has been fine. But this challenge was very interesting and irresistible for me. I’m such an indecisive individual… so to have this much authority over a food item was sooo stressful, yet I knew it would be rewarding. Batman? Cookie Monster? Princess Peach? What type of cake did I want? Finally I decided on a ladybug design, though they scare the shit out of me. It took me all night to create my own icing, bake the cake, and clean up. But I finished it…and gosh was it ugly…I mean the icing was cringe-worthy and literally falling off the cake. But guess what? The cake was on POINT! The icing was delicious, despite its appearance.. and the cake was so moist. So, as instructed…I gladly ate more than was appropriate. It was just a really huge accomplishment for me…that finally didn’t relate to my academic intelligence. It was something that I dedicated myself to 100%, worked hard on, and created!

My third favorite was to “collect 24 things throughout the day that remind me of the person that I am today.” I collected things from my Doc Martens (which make me feel like a bad bitch, queer femme, a picture of me, my mom, and sis (reminding me of my rock, my support), my passport (reminding me of the beautiful places and cultures I’ve witnessed), to my matte purple lipstick (my bomb, bright lipstick that my boo, Hilary, gifted to me during my darkest days). After collecting everything, I laid each item on the bed in rows. Picking each item up, glancing it over, and closing my eyes, I recalled beautifully detailed memories. This experience brought tears because I was able to reflect on the beautiful mind, experiences, and people that I’ve been given in this life.

In all, this birthday reminded me to slow down, breathe, and remember to laugh. I’ve been feeling so tense and stressed this fall (as mentioned in my previous post: Passionate, Driven, and Unemployed). But each thing that I did was filled with so much meaning, purpose, and delight that I must remember that I have control over all of my experiences and my life. This life, that I’m currently living in, isn’t as terrible as it seems. I have the right to decide this by finding joy in the small, yet so significant things. And that’s just what I’m going to do.

So, I’m 24…I can say I’m wiser, sturdier, and even more determined than before.

Over & Out – C

Wanna sneak peek at my 24th video compilation? Click Here !

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