So yeah… the birthday has come and gone… and quite a birthday it was. Honestly this one, while not as glitzy and over the top as Vegas in ’15, was likely one of the best in a very long time. From the people who joined me to the places I visited to all of the amazing food and drink I enjoyed… I’m not sure I could have drawn a picture of a more perfect time if I had tried. And the best part? I didn’t have to try. That was the best part of this birthday in fact… I didn’t have to try because I wasn’t in charge. I was in fact told that I was not going to be told anything about any of the plans for me or given choices on any of them. Someone else did all the planning. All I had to deal with was being totally out of control.
Spoiler alert… I liked it. A lot.
And I know that over half of you just fell over in a faint at that. Yes, Ms Control Freak was not in charge. At all. In any way. And I’m the world’s official worst at controlling stuff. That’s what I do. That might be what I do best. But not this time. This time I handed it over… willingly… and had the best time I’ve had in a long time. And this year, although it might surprise you guys, the joy wasn’t in the gifts and the attention… nope. The joy was in the people who were there. The people who took time out of their lives on either Friday or Saturday nights to meet up and just spend time together.
What a wonderful thing.
There were several points over those two nights when I was just watching things unfold, various groups talking and laughing, and it dawned on me that there were many connections present that didn’t even exist a year ago. There’s people in my life today who’ve become a part of my fabric so effortlessly that I now feel like they must have been there forever, but they haven’t. And then I realized that the mix of people that were present were exactly typical of any event I plan myself… because my circle is so diverse that when I start inviting I just select people, regardless of whether they know each other or not, regardless of whether they have anything in common, because I love pitching people together and watching the interaction. So the planners had done exactly what I would have done. They planned absolutely perfectly for me. And that’s when I knew I’ve gotten incredibly lucky yet again with the people I’ve chosen to be in my life.
Make no mistake, I’ve built a village here that’s a lot like me… a village that I love… and I’m constantly adding to it… with no commonality other than liking each other and enjoying each other’s company. I love my village… I love being their idiot… and I’m reasonably sure this is the happiest I’ve been in my skin in a very long time. And even though I’m building another village these days, one that sits a bit further south, rest assured that I’m not leaving this one. This is the one I love, this is home. Lakeland is my home. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
Yes, you can go home again.
And this is where I thank you all for welcoming me back home. For being a part of my life. For celebrating with me… with us… together… and not just this weekend and this birthday but everything… the big moments and the small. Thanks. Such a small word but it says everything. Thanks.
Thanks for being in my life. Just thanks.