Friday, January 31, 2014


Whew! I am recovering from almost two straight weeks of birthday partying, and I won’t lie, I loved being Birthday Queen. These weeks have been packed with trips, girly cocktail hours, countless surprise guest stars along the way, elegant dinners, hair and make up appointments, and dessert every day.

(I have my lovely Alex to thank for making AMAZING VEGAN S’MORES CAKE for my birthday party. My god, I adore you.)

One of the highlight moments of my festivities was my partner taking me to an undisclosed location where my birthday party was being held. Downtown Los Angeles was lit up with celebratory energy and a slight chill in the air almost made our city feel like it was actually January. In heels far higher than I ever wear, I was carefully led through the vintage Figueroa Hotel to a private back patio. There, thirty or so friends and family members exchanged stories and champagne smiles under a canopy of vibrant fabric and glowing trees with colored lanterns. The open sky and high-rise cityscape surrounding us sparkled with song.

I had an unavoidable grin across my face the entire night. So many people, so much love.

In the middle of birthdaygirl-blissed-outness, my friend Krysta shared how much she’s appreciating my writing and how it impacts her. It was one of those moments that froze time for a brief moment and I was filled with a sense of gratitude and giddiness. That’s when I knew I was going to write about this birthday.


While the birthday events themselves were wonderful, something different happened to me this milestone year. Something deep.

The morning I woke up on my birthday I felt magical. (Like glittery skin in Twlight but sans the vampire/creepy factor.)
I was beaming from within.
Being in my skin felt so good.
That was the only place I wanted to be.

For the first time a birthday felt right. It felt as though my insides and my outsides were aligned, and I was not hoping to be or feel something different. I had satisfaction, self-love, and presentness. I had always looked for happiness outside of where I was in life, like a little girl trying on her mom’s high heels and putting on lipstick terribly. It was all about longing, fear, hiding, wishing, and bitching about my dissatisfaction. I never just sat where I was and drank in the moment, I didn't take care to celebrate it.

The biggest gift I’ve given myself is the practice of being present. I’m convinced that is the key factor in why I was in love with myself the morning of my birthday. I am intentionally available to myself and aware. My tattered 20’s have left me with new perspective, and while I am grateful to kiss them goodbye I am also grateful for the wisdom they offered.

To borrow a phrase from TEDx speaker Glennon Doyle Melton, “Life is brutal, and life is beautiful. Life is brutiful."

My understanding of that truth is razor sharp, and I’m grateful it only took me three decades to get there. (Hey, it could have taken much longer. I’m a real stubborn dame.) Experiencing the spectrum – the brutal and the beautiful – cannot leave us unchanged. We necessarily need one in order to appreciate the other. This dance allows us to come back to center with ourselves, put our hand on our heart, and breathe in all aspects of the present.

Here is to a new decade of being present to dreams, lessons, love, and ever-growing gratitude.

A special thanks to my wonderful partner, Zachary. My birthday was incredible thanks to your care and planning. Thank you for being such a kind, compassionate soul. You have made my life all the more beautiful and bright.   

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