"If I knew all the words, I would write myself out of here." MRAZ

Monday, February 28, 2011

I am 30

My "28 Days of Celebrating 30" comes to a close within 10 minutes as I start this blog post. And, I've got to say, I've never been prouder of any birthday celebration. I made a commitment to finding a celebrate-worthy event for each day, and succeeded. In the process, I learned (or confirmed) how to love myself and how to love others -- and relish in the process of receiving love from those people who make up my inner circle, friends and family.

I didn't post as frequently as I had hoped to, but I am sure that the discussion will be ongoing as I reflect on the experiences I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the month.

These experiences include: spending time with groups of friends, spending time with friends one-on-one, going away for a mini family vacation to one of my favorite destinations, eating until my belly was ready to pop, working out until the sweat poured down my body, putting myself to bed early to enjoy a full (and indulgent) night of rest, drinking until I blacked out and waking up in different clothes, taking a weekend to "hit the road" on a dash-through road trip to spend time with my family up north, buying little things that make me happy, working to repair relationships, learning the rules of new relationships, letting myself crush madly, spending a morning at a salon treating myself to a wild-crazy hair color treatment, dancing with friends and dancing alone, challenging my body to new physical feats, going to new restaurants and tasting new foods (that, let's face it, I would never make at home) -- the list goes on and on....has it really only been a month?

There have been times of exhaustion - I mean, did I really pack all this activity into just one month?! Thank God that February only has 28 days this year - the 29th day of a Leap Year might have done me in...but it is a good exhaustion. There was plenty of work and challenges mixed in with a lot of play and fun.

And, ultimately, love.

1. Taking the time to love myself: acknowledging my strengths, challenging my weaknesses, letting loose in some areas and pulling the reigns tighter in others.

2. Taking the time to love others: focusing on love languages and dishing out love as people accept it, investing in the tales and experiences of others (not to mention learning from them) and sharing dozens and dozens of hugs along the way.

3. Taking the time to receive love (a little harder for me than the first two): acknowledging the celebration of my birth, taking in words of affirmation like jewels and polishing them until they shine, enjoying the acts of service given to me like treasure-bits that benefit my life source, relishing in the physical touch of being close to others (I love hugs, if you didn't know), focusing on moments of quality time shared with these beautiful people who are an active part of my life and with whom I have the ultimate pleasure (and responsibility) to grow older with; and yes, even humbly accepting the gifts that came my way and, a little selfishly, being giddy over the accumulation of new acquisitions to my property.

I am thrilled to be 30.

I am thrilled to know what I know; and at the wisdom I've gleaned and implemented in my life (and thankful for the way God weaves experiences into my life so that I learn wisdom...a few lessons repeated since I am such a hard head, but glad that he doesn't consider me a lost cause).

And, so starts a new decade-chapter in my life; and I've never anticipated tomorrow with such a positive outlook.

Monday, February 7, 2011

chocolate for breakfast

Chocolate is celebrate-worthy anytime. Period.

And so, when a sweet little messenger delivered your chocolate yummy-goodness to my desk this morning, it officially became my mini-celebration for the day. I thought, "Thank God I am about to be 30. If I weren't an adult, I wouldn't be able to stuff my face with this delicious brownie first thing in the morning. If I were a kid, I'd have to eat Cheerios. Blah!"

And, so, another perfectly valid reason to celebrate turning 30.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

not going counts as celebrate-worthy

I had planned on taking a day trip today that was going to span 4:30am to about 9pm. And I really, really wanted to go. This was going to be tackling an adventure that I feel is long, long overdue.

But....I chose not to go. All this partying has my body tired, and I've missed out on my typical allotment of rest. And this decision, this all-wise-grown-up-responsible moment definitely counts as a celebrate-worthy act.

I've had the opportunity to take it slow today (as long as "slow" is defined by cleaning up my apartment, washing and folding mounds of laundry, washing dishes, reorganizing my Tupperware cupboard and logging in about 5 hours at my job). And, so, I am feeling rested (because, there was a late morning that played a very important role in today's celebrate-worth decision) and accomplished.

I also got to stuff my face at Sal's Sunday Morning Brunch Buffet - hmmm, bacon.

a red star and a black check

This was a big party weekend and clearly was planned to be as a part of the "28 Days of Celebrating 30" month long event.

Red Star
On the top of my left hand there's a very, very faint (because, dear god, I have taken a shower since then) red star. My entry mark from ARTISTIKA NIGHTCLUB. I was invited by a friend to check out their events on Friday nights, Electrofunk Friday. And, the night of Feb 4th was incidentally my first free Friday night to check it out. One of my besties came along and we met up with a couple of friends of mine who live in Winston Salem. This was definitely one of the most diverse clubs I have ever been to - and it was clear that everyone was there to jam-out (which we all know, is one of my favorite things to do). The vibe was alternative and techno. We were the cool vampires of the night in all the great movies you've seen. The crowd was a bit young (wow, did I just say that?!), but playful - and that kept the vibe light and fun. After an abysmal game of pool, we just decided to focus on the jams and rock our bodies. Left a little early (it had been a work day after all) with a mental note to schedule a Saturday night visit for their Salsa Nights.

Black Check
On the top of my right hand there's a slightly smudged black check: my entry mark for Tir Na Nog Irish Pub. My absolute favorite 80's cover band, Suicide Blonde, performed from 10:30 to 2 on Saturday night / Sunday morning. One of my favorite things about going to a Blonde show are the other people who are there: 80's music fans are among the coolest of people. I've had the opportunity to meet up with other followers of the band and jam-out with them on several occasions. This time around, we got our respective friends together and jammed-out as an entire group. Absolutely priceless. And so goes another night for the record books (there are a lot of nights recorded in association with Suicide Blonde performances...coincidence? I think not!)

Even with all the partying, I've maintained a 7 day work week; but that's one of the things I love about my lifestyle: because I work very hard, I earn the right to play very hard as well.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I hear the drums echoing tonight...

Tonight's theme song: Africa by Toto

Today's gift - a long phone conversation with one of my besties who currently resides in Spokane, WA. I miss her so much. And I don't call as I should, because I hate talking on the phone in general....but it was so nice to hear her voice and share about our current goings-on.

We also took some time to talk and dream about our upcoming trip to Kenya. And that was definitely another luxury that I took advantage of - I've known about this trip since summer 2009. In fact, during my interview for a position at WebSpark, I asked my soon-to-be Boss if he would commit to giving me the time off. He thought I was crazy - planning something 2 summers away...but now it is this year, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. But, I don't think about it often...I am too busy. I mean sure, I've been saving; but I don't let myself daydream since I've got plenty in my here and now keeping my mind occupied.

My friend is a Kenyan connoisseur. She's taken several mission trips, led several mission trips and even lived an entire year as an intern for Beacon of Hope. This woman is a pro, and when I heard in 2009 that she was considering a Friends and Family trip, I was immediately interested and submitted my RSVP.

The trip will span just over a week of time - we will be based in Nairobi for the first few days, connecting with the Beacon of Hope group. Later in the week, we will be headed out on safari.

Are you excited yet?
I am!

And now, I'm going to stuff it back in and get to work on this pile of laundry that is screaming to be folded. Did I say pile?! It looks more like Kilimanjaro as it rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.

I promise that I will keep you updated on the travel blog: My OK Place

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

simply...not simple at all

I did a rare thing today - I left the office to take lunch. Usually, lunch is a slap-dash event, stuffed away at my desk as quickly as possible so that I can free my fingers to return to their incessant clicking on the keys.

But today, I left to meet a friend - and to eat Thai. We met at Simply Thai in Elon, a restaurant that comes highly recommended. And now that I've had the opportunity to partake in their lovely dishes, I would also extend my recommendation.

This friend is new. We were introduced a significant amount of time ago, but only through professional emails. And through the year, we've traded information back and forth as it was needed. But, now, we've been given the opportunity to share more of our lives with each other and to become friends.

And I treasure this - I treasure the ability and desire to meet new people and engage in their lives sincerely. To "make new friends and keep the old ones." I think it keeps me young. There's something about a surprise new friend that makes me feel like I'm a kid; like I am in 3rd grade waiting for the bus on the first day of school and some new kid in the neighborhood stands to wait with me. There's a sweet moment of shared existence, and even though we won't see each other at school or do, but have different friend-groups...we always have that moment together waiting for the bus and talking about our lives.

And this is my gift to me today on my journey of daily celebrations - to honor the simplicity of deciding to open myself up to a new life, a new spirit of influence. To keep the kidness about me as I share my experiences in the moments we have together. It's really a complex dance of give and take, of learning new rules and preferences; but definitely worth the treasure of calling someone friend.

My present plans are going to succeed- least that what my fortune tonight said. And, I think that I can live with that.

A couple of big things happened today that are celebrate-worthy and count as mini-parties towards my goal of daily celebrations during my birthday month.

Today at the office, we launched the Rock Your Technology site. This is a new collaborative effort to impact our local market; and I am excited about finally having the opportunity to positively effect our local Administrator has wanted to focus on a local push since he's hired me! And it was a serious focus to my Monday - getting final content in order. And today, we got to tell people about it, and will continue to do so for....well....ever.

This evening, I got to share time with someone who is quickly becoming a good friend of mine - it dawned on me just tonight that we haven't ever had one-on-one time to really have an opportunity to get to know each other; we've always been surrounded my other friends or co-workers. And so, tonight, we enjoyed reviewing certain details over several glasses of wine....and, um, some Apple Brandy (at least on my part).

This amazing friend installed my bike rack onto my car. This is a huge deal, since I've had the bike rack, fall; and haven't had it installed yet....nor have I been able to install it myself. And then, to top it all off, he secured my new-to-me bike to the rack....(his sister had previously given me permission to take the bike; and by god, use it a bit).

So, I am home....with rack installed and bike in the apartment; with a silly grin on my face from too much wine...and, um, brandy; with a happy tummy filled with delicious food from the Red Bowl; and with a night of happy memories with a friend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

..and the party begins

Would this be considered the pre-party?

Technically, this began on January 31st and ran over into Feb counts either way; whether you are considering a pre-party or an actual documented event of the month. The only thing that matters is that it was celebrate-worthy!

What was I doing?
Building castles in the sky with a dear friend.

Can you even begin to compare your night with mine?
(Oh, no. Don't try. I promise you, this was great.)


So, I had a friend come over to share some good (and bad...still so sorry about that) wine and catch up. You can meet my friend - he's got a blog as well and you can find him at

And catch up we did; and I loved every minute of it. We talked about gaming and I learned about PAX and met Gladys from Portal. I learned about Child's Play and how I could donate items to the North Carolina Children's Hospital directly from their Amazon Wish List (by the way, how cool is that?!)

I was reintroduced to WCW's "This is just to say" - because I swear I've heard this poem before...but where? Could it just maybe be in one of the many English classes I had to take for my major....well, maybe. And now, am inspired to write my own variation of the poem (because, yes, that's how I plan on classifying it).

And, of course, the transition to This American Life was smooth and easy from there. And, well, once you get on This American Life, there's no telling where you can end up, which is something I love as well.


And so, a night with a friend I love talking about topics that I love and drinking a wine that I love (because I clearly did not drink the others).

Definitely celebrate-worthy!
A nice start I would say...