Right now it's 2:30 am on Saturday morning and I just can't sleep...
For the best reason ever! I am ecstatic, hyped and bouncing off the walls, all at once! Yesterday was my birthday, and it was so special - it was my first birthday.
Well, it was my first at least from some aspects. You see, I was born, raised and long associated with a religion that didn't allow the celebration of birthdays in any way. My first 31 birthdays were just like any other day, often completely forgotten and sometimes noted with a casual mention and nothing more. Long time readers would know that I disassociated myself from the religion a few years ago, but just kept July 5 as any other day.
This year I thought would be a little different. My very good friend Mark invited me out to have a burger and a drink somewhere in the city. Maybe Gordy would come too, if he was free!
I rolled up to his place on Friday afternoon, and proceeded to try and solve some issues he's been having with his graphics card. We headed out at 4:30, picked up Gordy and headed to the Southern Cross in Wellington. It was a nice place! We started playing a game of giant Jenga at the outdoor seating.
Then Daniel and Lisa showed up. At first I thought they just happened to be there by coincidence. But then more and more people I knew started arriving. They had cards and beautifully wrapped presents. Then Mark's wife Karen and their girls showed up with an absolutely amazing chocolate cake, decorated beautifully with chocolate numbers from 1 to 32, and 32 candles.
So many people came! And we all had so much fun! I ended up in a conga party line with the kids - they like to dance about, unlike the adults. The kids and I came up with an evil plan - in my birthday speech I'd put pressure on Mark to dab as one last birthday gift. Even though he despises it, he yielded! Using my birthday powers for such evilness was a rush.
The whole thing was a huge rush of joy. Once I realised what had happened, I couldn't get rid of my cheesy smile. I had absolutely no idea what was being planned, and I've never had a surprise anywhere near this magnitude before.
I have to give a huge thank you to Karen - the cake she made was just amazing in every detail. Kudos to Mia, Abi and Elena for being so good at keeping the surprise a secret - I would struggle to do that! And a massive thank you to my main-man Mark, for setting this whole thing up. It means so much to me.
When my Dad passed away last month I was devastated and crushed. My very best friend, my partner in doing most things along with my job and purpose to get up each day, was gone. It still hurts, and I know that it will always feel like that to an extent.
But, after seeing such a massive outpouring of love and friendship yesterday, I just feel a little bit more… complete. I have never felt less alone. Great, I'm tearing up now! Still got that smile, though.
I'm not expecting my future to be easy. But right now, for the first time in a while, I'm wanting to give it a go.