26.

DSC_8095Yesterday I turned 26, but because we love a good party around this home, we started celebrating last weekend. I mean, you only get one birthday a year, might as well drag it out until everyone is tired of it and you have eaten so much cake that you are feeling slightly ill all the time.
DSC_8079James, having taken note over the years of what I demand prefer in terms of birthday celebrations, organized a party with some of our favorite DC friends in Lyman’s backyard. (Dear Housemates of Lyman: I promise that when the cold weather comes, we will actually go back to celebrating at our own house, because I know that this, after the Fourth party, and James’ birthday, might be getting a little tedious. But if you don’t want us, you really should have taken down those globe lights, because they basically scream “COME HAVE A PARTY HERE!!!” and I am powerless to resist the call of some globe lights.) We had pink cake (my birthday staple), hotdogs, girly drinks, and some other yummy treats that are totally off-limits given the parameters of the recently began Hannah and James Health Initiative. But oh wait — there are no calories on birthdays. Winning.
birthdayYesterday, on my actual birthday, I was spoiled again with donuts in bed and a perfect cupcake when I got home, followed by dinner out at one of our new favorite spots. I also forced my students to celebrate by teaching them birthday wishes in French the day before and demanding their usage in class. You do what you have to.
birthdaycollage2I realize that 26 really isn’t very old. In fact, I don’t feel old at all, other than the moments where I reference something in class (TRL, VHS, Boy Meets World, Justin Timberlake actually being part of a larger band, and Will Smith being first and foremost a rapper) that my students have never heard of/ weren’t born for.  I feel like I still have so much time in front of me, so many years to make mistakes and start over, so many chances to figure out what I am doing with my life.

But then I see those articles about how early motherhood is inherently better for you and your babies or I see people buying houses or my knees hurt on stairs or I realize that there isn’t time to do everything, and I start getting stressed. Because way back when, I thought I would have it all figured out by 26. I would be married, settled in a career, fully cognizant of where life was going and how I was going to live it. And yes, I am married, but I am still waiting to grow up and figure all the rest of it out.

Then I look on my life. I look at those pictures and I see us surrounded by people we love, in a city we never thought we would live in, pursuing things we never planned on loving. I see chances that we have missed, but so many others that we have taken, are taking, or still lie in front of us. Because maybe you never really grow up and figure it all out, and it only looks like other people have, but they are probably just as confused as everyone else.

So here’s to year 26. May it be a good one, full of love, laughter, and figuring out just a little bit more about life.

Oh, and let’s also make it full of donuts, because that was s such a good way to start it.

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29 Responses to 26.

  1. I love the pic of you leaning on your guy as he lights the candles. Happy Birthday!

  2. No need to stress. Seriously. I think we’re damn lucky as long as we can surround ourselves with things we’re passionate about and people that make us laugh, are willing to listen if we need to vent, and don’t freak facing our goofy side.

    Also. Growing up and having everything figured out? HAHAHA. That’s a good one. Frankly, I think things might get boring if you ever actually reached that point where you don’t see new plans/projects/chances on the horizon.

  3. Kirsten says:

    Life is a great adventure that we only thing (sometimes) we have figured out. But, even the old people who look like they have it together, are still experimenting with each new day!

    Happy Birthday!

  4. RA says:

    Happy happy birthday! I loved this: “I also forced my students to celebrate by teaching them birthday wishes in French the day before and demanding their usage in class. You do what you have to.”

  5. Laura says:

    Happy birthday, Hannah! I didn’t know we were about the same age – I’ll be 26 in February. You seem older than me for some reason – NOT in a bad way, but in the way of how great of a writer you are and how much you have already done with your life. I hope you continue to have a wonderful birthday week, full of cake and donuts!!

  6. Raewyn says:

    Happy Birthday Hannah – I am smiling at you feeling so much older than your students because of who they don’t know.
    I am now 56 and when I announced to my children that I was going to the Joan Baez concert recently they were like, ‘Who??’
    I will go have a salted caramel frappuccino to celebrate your birthday with you :-)

  7. Heidi says:

    Happy Birthday Hannah! Glad to hear you, too, are optimistic about 26. :)

  8. wifiemmott says:

    Happy Birthday!
    I used to want to get to 26 and stay there – it’s a good age.
    Just pursue God, love your husband and enjoy all the good things you have been given and watch God grow your heart, vision and impact on the world. The art of being content in every season is a very good thing (and biblical), so enjoy being where you are. God bless x

  9. Happy Birthday Hannah! May your attitude be as optimistic at 56 as it is at 26!

  10. Cecelia says:

    I am 31 yrs. your senior. I still haven’t figured it out. I miss the babies I never had, got my degree and a divorce at 44, and work in figuring out life everyday. Enjoy yourself, have babies if you want them, play (a lot), and be thankful for your blessings. Go for the gold every day and don’t wait until “someday” … you will still feel young in your brain, while your body will say “it ain’t so” :)
    Have fun with your life, and Happy Birthday!

  11. Happy birthday! I recently celebrated my 23rd. Yup, it feels like more should be done by now, and so much time has gotten away. Thank God for birthdays to reflect on both the good and bad, and get ready for another banner year. I wish you a good one.

  12. Amanda says:

    I declare that it is still your birthday week and birthday month. I hope you’re still eating cake. It is your proud responsibility to do so.

  13. Krystin says:

    All I can manage is, “Ditto!”

    Oh, and I simply LOVED this:

    “Then I look on my life. I look at those pictures and I see us surrounded by people we love, in a city we never thought we would live in, pursuing things we never planned on loving. I see chances that we have missed, but so many others that we have taken, are taking, or still lie in front of us. Because maybe you never really grow up and figure it all out, and it only looks like other people have, but they are probably just as confused as everyone else.”

    I get so caught up in what other people are doing that I tend to downplay the things that I have accomplished or seen or experienced.

    Happy birthday!

  14. Valéria H. says:

    happy birthday!
    what a lovely party that was!!
    when you think about all the things you still want to do, don’t forget to remember all the wonderful things you have already achieved… the master’s, for example! so nice that you’re so young and already accomplished something so special! :)

  15. Katie says:

    Happy birthday. It all looks so wonderful.

    You’re one day shy of being exactly a year older than me, and it’s good to know that I’m not the only one thinking similar things about this twenty-something business. I mean, I’m married with a house, but figuring out all those other things? It hasn’t happened yet, and I’m actually fine with that.

  16. twistedchica says:

    Happy Birthday! What a lovely weekend you had and you are so right. Just love the life you are living. Enjoy it. All will unfold as it should. I promise.

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