On the morning of my 23rd birthday, I ran 10 miles. My only friends in Nashville, Lisa and Jim, took me to my favorite taco joint for lunch. That afternoon I worked at my hostess job, and no one at the restaurant remembered that it was my birthday. I thought I was okay without being made a fuss over, but then the next day, when some of my friends texted me a belated happy birthday, I cried because of how forgotten and insignificant and alone I felt. I didn’t blow out any candles that year.
|bday FaceTime with my best friends, Lisa and Jim <3|
I ran 11 miles on my 24th birthday. It was a year later, and there was still no one in Nashville other than Lisa and Jim whom I could imagine enjoying time with on my birthday. So I flew to North Carolina to be with my family. My stepmom cut fresh roses from her garden and made me a vegetarian lasagna and chocolate cake. When I blew out the candles, I wished for friends and a job.
This year, I didn't run on my birthday because the weather was terrible and I haven't been running much in general because NYC. Instead, I got up early to swim at the YMCA — my go-to form of exercise in the city.
I ate two excellent breakfasts, one before swimming and one after. I did a little bit of work in the morning, and then headed to the MoMA for some peaceful birthday art-gazing.
|Turns out it was a rainy day so the MoMA was NOT peaceful.|
|people looking at Starry Night|
|I liked this room.|
|made from a glass slide found by the artist in Havana|
|this was called States of Mind (in order): I. The Farewells, II. Those Who Go, and III. Those Who Stay|
|Monet's Japanese footbridge <3|
|view from a MoMA window|
I had planned to go to the Met after that but the thought of it being just as crowded forced me into a cafe instead. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on a personal essay I plan to pitch to NYT's Modern Love column.
|NYC: April 3, 2018|
|Aside from my atrociously colorful umbrella, do I look like a New Yorker yet?|
Then I had dinner with friends, yay! At an excellent Chinese restaurant in midtown.
|among other things, we ate fake (vegetarian) duck|
So that was the actual day of my birth. But the other half of this birthday being so wonderful is that I got to see my family! I flew to NC last week for a job interview, and got the fam together for dinner in Chapel Hill.
|<3 <3 <3|
|They gave me a cake and flowers which I took in my Lyft, put through the x-ray machine, brought on the plane, brought on the train, and carried all the way to my apartment.|
I served the cake (pictured above) at my self-hosted birthday party this past weekend.
Highlight of the party: Surprise appearance from none other than Joanna Kuang!
Other things that made the birthday excellent:
|Yas + Brooke together in Telluride|
|June gave me exactly what I wanted!|
|so did Jack! :D|