This post is the first in a series of “Drafts I’ve had forever that I finally finished writing.”
This year my birthday fell on a Saturday. It was the first time I’ve had a Saturday-birthday in a LONG freakin’ time so I decided to take advantage of it by blowing-off Orlando and heading down to Ft. Lauderdale with Vince… ONLY Vince.
Because honestly, I was feeling super odd around my birthday. Upon reflection it makes sense – it was the first real birthday without my Dad since last year Mia was on death’s door ’round this time. So this was the first birthday that I could actually celebrate and enjoy.
Vince got us a SUPER pimp room at Lago Mar Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale that had one of the loudest/liveliest/most kid-friendly pools and play areas I have ever seen. We expected the kids after reading extensive reviews on TripAdvisor but considering we booked this place with 3 days to spare, I am thrilled with what we got.
Because seriously – kids aside – the place was absolutely gorgeous and completely wonderful in an old-world-Florida sorta way.
We drove down after work on a Friday, checked in (where I avoided hooping my ass off in dat lobby) and got dressed to hit the club. And by “dressed” I mean I put on a short, flowy Free People slip that I think might actually be a nightgown.
And then I got drunk:
By the time we made it back to our hotel I’d shown my ass all over Ft. Lauderdale – literally thanks to my pretty little dress blowing around in my drunken state – and I got super obsessed with a new selfie app I downloaded called FaceTune. (If you do not have FaceTune, go get that shit. Worth the money. Trust me on this.)
The next day I woke up and shit got real. Like, real real.
- I got an hour massage and asked my masseuse to focus on my face, of all places, because I felt like my forehead had been furrowed with stress lately. I’d never had a face massage before but dude – LIFE CHANGING.
- I hit the beach with my hoop but couldn’t get any flow going because the wind was so strong. This,… this made me sad.
- I sat with a bottle of champagne and contemplated life, friends, relationships, and pretty much took complete and total inventory on everyone and everything that I had in my life to-date.
By the time dinner rolled around I was an absolute emotional disaster. I missed my Daddy, I felt completely and totally alone, and I regretted having isolated myself and Vince for my birthday. Vince balanced me out by taking me to the movies and basically letting me cry all over him.
But by the time we left on Sunday I was okay. It was unfortunate that I had this crazy emotional bottoming-out on my 33rd birthday, but there’s something about hitting the very bottom of an emotional well that makes things – relationships, memories, events – crystal clear.
And when I left Lago Mar, only slightly more tan and significantly more relaxed, I was enormously grateful for the people who never gave up on me in 2014.
I think my 33rd birthday was similar to New Year’s Eve for me – an anchor, a checkpoint, an “OMG I SURVIVED 2014! I SURVIVED 32!” gutcheck. Not everyone, or every relationship, did.
More to come on my ‘taking inventory’ later because I believe it’s worth exploring. But for the purposes of documentation, my birthday wasn’t quite what I expected (or really wanted? With the exception of the drunk and awesome-hotel parts) but it was what I needed. And I love being Thirty Three.