“Crystal, it’s your mother.”

“Hi Ma, why are you calling so early,” I asked, already knowing it’s my birthday today and she’s been calling every year for the last few years at the same time.

“It’s 7:56. It’s your birthday!”

Flash forward 2 years later.

In typical millennial fashion, I found myself in a bar on a Saturday night discussing the ills of social media while on social media. Flipping through Instagram, on the hunt for the perfect example of delicious frivolity of the app, and I found this picture. A picture of a card my mother sent me for my birthday and the time of my birth written in the corner. Unbeknownst to those around me, my invisible self; the one who tells you not to eat that second cupcake, yells at you to get out of bed to go workout, or tells you during a terrible Tinder date this guy is NOT the one, curled up on the bench in that bar and stroked the image of that card. My face, in resting and silent astonishment.

This isn’t a post about grief or loss. My mother died two years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her or unpack a small piece of sadness from the emotional suitcase I created to deal with her death. This post is about change. How it can be both remarkable and unremarkable.

Unremarkable: a 33rd birthday. 33 is this odd age I think. It’s not a milestone of any kind. It’s not a middle mark between 30 and 40. It’s not a year where I had any huge life changes like a promotion or marriage or even a new car. I’m bummed about 2 out of three of those things and it’s NOT the one you go to Jared for.

Remarkable: 1 year of getting older, yes, but wiser, more open-spirited, courageous, stronger, and determined.
This year I’ve learned to try to be patient with the universe, rather than scream into the wind. I’ve learned to tell others what they mean to me, even if it’s just a small gesture that made a single day better. That’s the courageous part, by the way. Imagine you walk around telling people how great they made you feel, out of the blue? And you don’t want anything in return? I’m lucky they haven’t branded me with a scarlet “W” on my chest for weirdo.

(But..there’s an idea there. I’ll let you ruminate on that.)

I’ve learned you have to let go sometimes to get what you want and sometimes you have to hold on to the things you want to let go because you’ll be a better person for it. That’s the “wiser” part. Or so I’m told.

I’ve also learned to Whip-Nee-Nee. Yes, that’s remarkable. It’s a dance routine that works at every party. Not since the Dougie have I been so popular in a bar/dance/young-adult impromptu bonding scenario. Gold.

I’m no Deepak Chopra. Or Oprah. However she is my spirit animal, along with Beyonce. (That probably tells you a lot about my personality, actually.)

I’m just a gal. .