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Today I am twenty nine years old. The last year of these roaring twenties that have brought about joy and pain and clarity. Despite what media may say, I do not view myself as a mess during this decade or wish to numb or regret these years. They brought me to where I am, who I am. They are part of me.

Today I am twenty nine years old and I can feel my growth but also recognize my remaining naiveté. There are so many experiences under my belt yet I am shy to admit my age since I expect those older than me to scoff and declare, albeit silently, that I know nothing. While the number may be relatively low, I do indeed know something: I know me.

I am a woman of many loves and who is loved by many…I wish everyone could live this gift.  The people and passions I choose to keep close are inspiring and nourishing and forgiving, their collective impact on my world is unmistakably and overwhelmingly positive. I think about how I can into this fortune…luck, serendipity, magic, acceptance, or a little bit of everything?

At last, I realize I am a woman of contrasts. City and mountains. Style and minimalism. Social and necessarily introverted. Practical and romantic. Restless and homebody… See? At first these polarized feelings are infuriating—act on one, you see the light of the opposite—but then, after a while of observing them, letting them happen without resistance, I have come to realize their necessary role in squeezing every last drop out of this one wild and precious life.

I took off of work today, of firm belief that your birthday is grounds for doing everything you please. Everything I please is rather tame, but I will relish in it: a pancake breakfast, a long walk around the city while completing my assignment for my photography class, yoga, coffee with a friend, a harvest feast with my love with my favorite music playing in the background. A very happy birthday indeed.

photo by Rachel Thurston Photography

 


The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

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