My dear 31, you were kind of a bitch.

The kind of lovely thing about a basically mid year birthday is that you can stop and reflect about what has happened since the calendar year changed as well as what has gone on since your age changed last.
Seven out of the twelve months of this year were lived in 2016.

And we all know what kind of year 2016 was.

I’ve been trying my best to separate 31 from 2016. I’ve been trying to be glass half full, or at least glass refillable.

But what I’ve realized is that 31 was like an avocado that is starting to go bad. You have to work for the good parts, because man, those parts are ripe and perfect and it’s a crime to throw away edible avocado. So, you slice and spoon out and flick the black bruised parts into the trash.

And some of them end up in your guacamole, or in your nachos, or spread on your toast (SO WHAT I’M BASIC).

It might make your mouth a little puckered, but you wouldn’t have even had the chance to have any of it if you’d chosen to chuck the whole thing.

There have been A LOT of times over 31 that I wanted to chuck the whole thing. I wanted to chuck bellingham, my job, any chance of dreams. I wanted to chuck my voice, my abilities, my hope because I was running into a lot of bruised parts. Some days it felt like too many.

Some days, I felt like the bruised part in other people’s life.
I think if I had to take anything away from the last year of my life, it is this: “but I didn’t.”

But I didn’t run.

But I didn’t stay silent (most of the time).

But I didn’t stop making friends.

But I didn’t stop celebrating.

But I didn’t stop showing up.

But I didn’t stop loving.

But I didn’t stop seeing the best in people.

But I didn’t let my tears stop falling.

But I didn’t stop baking.

And even though this is the hardest one: But I didn’t stop hoping. 

31 you were beautiful.

You had a lot of tears, some weddings, sweet baby Peyton, some surprises, a lot more two year olds then I ever imagined I’d ever interact with in my life, you had board games and nights out and nights in. You brought new humans into my life, kept so many old, you had celebration and laughter. You had beer, margaritas and let’s be real: tequila. 

31, as with every other year in my life, I do appreciate you. I appreciate the fight you’ve given me. I appreciate the tears and the days the tears never came. I appreciate the belly laughter, I appreciate that you were my second year in Bellingham. You were the year I established more and floundered less.

I appreciate you, but, if you would be so kind:

Please bring on 32.

Here’s to 32.

To more hope.

To more joy.

To more life.

To more beautiful surprises.

(And to less two year olds- 32 is more of a “three year old” kind of year)

And here’s to the people of my 31 (obviously not all pictures. I only get nine guys!)

I freaking love you people.

I know it’s (almost) my birthday, but it’s you I want to celebrate.

Thank you for being hope, light, joy, laughter, and (buying me) tequila, to me.

Thank you all for being my people. Each and everyone of you, close as the next room and far as across an ocean, I love you all.


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