Jed: How old are you this year?
Me: I’m 27.
Jed: Oh thank goodness. You’ve been 24 for 15 years now. Glad to see you’ve decided to move on.
Me: I have not. I’ve been 27 for a while. I embrace my age.
Jed: Yes. Yes you do. Especially when your daughter is catching up with you.
Me: I could totally have given birth at 9. That happened in China or something. It’s because I went to an all-girls high school. I married very young. Anyway, don’t give me grief, it’s my birthday. I’m 27. Where’s my cake?
It’s easy to think that after a certain age, your life should be something to look back on each birthday and reflect with a self-satisfied grin. It should be about chocolate, wine, good friends and a drunken refrain of “My Way.”
I’m not doing that.
This is the second birthday I’ve had in the US. Each birthday I’m reminded of the people, animals and things I miss. While their love surrounds me still, I wish I had Max and Bec here with me. My mum and dad. My dogs. And yes, even my stuff that’s in storage in Sydney. (Because I’m that shallow. Back off.)
But this year is better than last. I am being literally flooded with birthday wishes through social media of all forms, including people who are very special to me, and whom I’ve met while living here. While I’m on the US leg of my life. My mum sent me a spectacular handmade card and my brother and his family will skype with me from Sydney. My daughter chats with me from Armidale, country NSW. My cousins and friends wish me cheeky happy birthdays from London. And I am thrilled that I have friends doing the same, from all across the USA.
Social media means I don’t feel as displaced as I could be.
I’m still rather teary, but I’m still doing it my way. I’m not ready to reflect yet. The journey is still happening. I’m looking forward.
The fact I have no idea where I’ll be living this time next year, but that I have so many things bouncing around, shows that I’m at a high point. And I’m very lucky to have good friends and family all around the world who care.
I can’t wait to see my family and friends in Sydney in 78 days – I miss holding them and seeing them face to face. I’m looking forward to the opportunities that are coming up everywhere. I’m busier than ever.
Some things are different. I have found I love winter most of all in Colorado, and I love summer most of all in Sydney. (Extreme much?) However, some things haven’t changed. I still want to lose 10 kg (20 pds). But I still want cake.
And so it goes. Wherever you are in the world, whatever your time zone, we are connected. A click away.