On the night of my 38th birthday, I met the system admin for dinner. I didn’t tell him it was my birthday when I texted to find out if he wanted to meet. I told him that my meeting was going to end late and I’d rather eat with him than be stuck in traffic.
I was sitting at the restaurant, still in my work suit, heels kicked off under the table, drinking my wine when he turned up and called me a brat for not telling him why we were meeting. We weren’t meeting because it was my birthday, not really. Being stuck in traffic on my birthday would have been crummy, but fine. Being alone on my birthday would have been crummy, but fine. We met because he makes me laugh. He makes me lighter, happier.
The year I was 19 was the first year that I decided to work on a skill as part of my birthday. That year I chose balance. It is obvious that I was only 19, thinking I could master balance in a year. At twice that age I think if I might manage it over a life time -if the person doing the judging squints. I try for more achievable things now.
Last year I told you about gathering many I loved for my annual birthday dinner and how I was going to learn to live in the moment.
That was what I was going to do.
That wasn’t what I did.
I learned something harder, way more painful and ultimately far more useful. I learned about investment. I learned about costs and I learned about return and I learned about reading the contract carefully.
It has broken me at times in the last year. I’ve sat on my couch, in the corner, sobbing. I haven’t talked about it here. Much of it is has been murky and painful and not always simple or easy to explain. I have walked away from relationships I thought I would never leave. I find myself surprised by how much easier life is. Saddened too, that I invested so heavily into something with no return. I have gotten better picking when I invest. I catch myself much sooner and shut things off quickly.
On my 38th dinner, the System Admin made me laugh. He grabbed my ass like he always does and told me I’m not too shabby for an old lady. He reminded me that I am worthy, that I am smart and capable and most importantly, cared for. He affirmed the best of investment, when we go all in and they do too. When we get through the times that are hard and sad and reach the moments where we eat steak and we bicker over the mushrooms and he tells me that cheese cake is a vegetable for my birthday.
I have no idea what I will learn this year. None. I’m sure I’ll realize soonish. I usually do when I start thinking this way.
On the night of my 38th birthday I celebrated investment. It was glorious.