The Way I See It, You Should Live Every Day Like Its Your Birthday.
Written by Ali Carr, Posted in All
A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip! – unknown
Jacoby’s for dinner and a night of karaoke. These were my only two requests when my friends asked me how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year.
It was Friday afternoon, and I was heading out of the house for the day when I was surprised by a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my best friend, Maria. I got in an amazing hike with Maggie, Cody and Jack before getting ready for dinner and a night on the town for birthday celebration #1. The weekend was off to a great start already!
Dinner at Jacoby’s was exceptional, as always! I was surrounded by some of my best friends and really delicious food, the cool early Spring weather could not have been more perfect. When the server brought out a bottle of champagne from my bestie, Patty in San Francisco, I was speechless. I can’t even put into words how over-the-top grateful I feel that I have the most thoughtful, true friends. After dinner, they brought out a little cake and like every year prior, my friends sang “Happy Birthday” to me. When they told me to make a wish, I paused for a minute because I realized that this birthday was different than those in the past. In that moment in time, I didn’t even know what to wish for. Instead of longing for things I didn’t have, instead I simply felt grateful. I couldn’t help but to feel that my life is exactly what I wanted it to be two years ago before I set out on this life-changing adventure.
I love where I live. I get to enjoy so much of nature’s beauty with my dogs. My life is incredibly rich in love and friendship and full with so many experiences. As I blew out my candle, I told my friends that all I can do is be incredibly thankful for everything that I already have in my life.
Fast forward two days later to Sunday evening. I left the house (makeup free) in a sweater and Converse sneakers to grab a casual bite to eat at a food truck with my friend Jackie. However, we quickly switched gears and decided to head to Rainy Street instead for a cold beer and some VIA 313 pizza.
Unbeknownst to us, we were almost immediately invited to join the two guys sitting a few tables over from us to eat. The four of us engaged in some fun small talk, sharing stories about everything from dating, to the city of Austin, to our hobbies, pets, etc. The conversation flowed so naturally with a lot of unexpected laughs thrown in. Dinner was so much fun! Jackie mentioned to them that we were out for a relaxing night after celebrating my birthday all weekend. But that’s when the night took an interesting twist.
“You can’t go in early on your birthday! Let’s go out and celebrate!” one of them said. Needless to say, minutes later we found ourselves piling into the car and headed to dance the night away to some of Austin’s best live music at The White Horse. I found myself wondering, how did a ‘roll-out-of-bed for some pizza Sunday night’ suddenly turn into a night of laughter, celebration and dancing with new friends? When the clock struck midnight, it was officially my birthday, and I honestly could have never planned a better night if I tried. The band called me on stage to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ (which was mortifying) and then we quickly got back to our drinks and more dancing. The entire night was filled to the brim with unexpected happiness.
The next morning, I woke up groggy after only a few hours of sleep (and one too many cocktails.) My to do list was never ending. I had so much that I needed to accomplish before I had to catch a flight to Tampa (and then another one to Cuba the next day for work.) Just a few hours before the flight, I come to find out that I accidentally booked the first leg of my flight incorrectly (I booked Tampa to Austin instead of Austin to Tampa.) I immediately thought to myself, “See, this is why I can’t be irresponsible!” and began to beat myself up over my night of fun and spontaneity. However, I only let this thinking last a moment before I immediately pushed this thought out of my head. “Everything is fine. Just keep moving,” I thought.
That’s when it hit me. Often it is those completely unexpected moments that make life that much better. Those nights (like the one before) where you meet new people, dance your heart out and laugh until it hurts are the times that make life so sweet! We all need to learn to embrace those kinds of moments and seize the random opportunities that life throws at us. Yes, the next day was a little crazy and stressful, but I threw all of my clothes in the suitcase and somehow made it to Tampa after-all. I landed just in time to have one last, incredible birthday celebration dinner in Tampa that my best friend Katie threw for me. The next morning, I flew out to Cuba for work delegation trip at 5am. What a whirlwind!
Sometimes life can feel a little crazy, but it always has a way of working itself out. We can all use more laughter, dancing and fun in our lives – guilt free! In fact, it should be just as high of a priority as everything thing else that we work into our daily routines. I made it to Cuba and I can’t wait to share the details of my trip with you in an upcoming post. Until then, I urge you to enjoy all of the unexpected twists and turns that life throws your way!