In thinking about my ensuing 40th birthday I began to reminisce about birthdays past and who I've spent them with; specifically friends who've seen me through, if not the majority of them, the most meaningful of them. I have found my birthdays to be more then just milestones indicative of age, but rather barometers suggestive of life's accomplishments. I suppose one could quantify accomplishments a myriad of ways, but I am most impacted by those personal triumphs. In a word; friendships.
Most of my life has been characterized not by destination but the journey itself. Those precious few who've chosen to sojourn alongside me have left indelible imprints on my heart. Some remain while some have moved on while still others flicker in and out of my life like a candle that burns brightest and elicits the most heat when you need it most. I can count on one hand the number of friends I'd calibrate as life long as, much like most things in life, quality will always reign over quantity. Interestingly enough I find it harder to make lasting friendships now that I'm older, however, this could definitely be attributed to the fact that I keep mostly to myself, and, contrary to most people's first assessment of me, I am pretty shy.
In co mingling memories of both birthdays and friends I find none so poignant as that which is pictured above. If there was ever a time I felt celebrated by those who love me my 36th birthday was it. I recall sitting amongst them at the table, each of them taking turns reciting what they loved most about me while I dissolved in a copious amount of tears. It was perhaps one of the most touching displays of true friendship I have ever experienced. While I remain sisterly-close to two of these women the rest are still within reach. I have perhaps just reminded myself that it is I who am responsible for nurturing and cultivating past (and future) relationships just as much as others are, and that reaching out to these amazing women is long overdue.
My life has been, and will continue to be, definined in many ways but no rendition ever compared to those of the friendships I've shared.