Birthday Shenanigans & Mini Explorations

The big 2-4. Part of me wants to cry and hide in fetal position. How have I not accomplished several big goals before hitting my mid 20s?!

Then the positive voice emerges: (it sounds a bit like my dad though more nurturing, less “quit your yakking”) 24 is not 25. That’s mid-twenty, a quarter century, Christmas Day. Save your complaining for next year.

Live now. After all, 24 is a wiser, more experienced 23-year-old, right? 21 plus three candles. Besides, 23 was peaks and valleys – too much emotional baggage to sort through. Now that my closet is clean and moth-free, I can mend my sweaters, put on my favorite autumn scarves, and step out into the cool, crisp golden autumn of 24.

Sure, I haven’t achieved super-stardom like my young self wished for. Nor am I engaged or married like so many of my favorite friends. But I’ve lived and explored thoroughly. It’s a new year, and I’m just getting started. Let’s hear it for 24.

So what did the day look like? Wake up to the rimple, crumple, wrapping sound of boyfriend wrapping gift in the bathroom. Glare at said boyfriend for disturbing the peace while simultaneously preventing me from relieving myself of bladder urgency. Lay in bed. Receive a tasty salmon omelette. Read a magazine. Lounge. Still in bed. Morning yoga and a shower. Leave at 11:30 for Shibuya for our favorite Genki sushi and Mr. Bean pumpkin and soy custard pancakes to go. Take a train to Fuchu for the Fuchu Prison Festival, a short walk down a golden tree lane. Take photos on a fire truck — in firemen’s clothes. Take another train to Tachikawa. Walk along raised paths to Shonen Kinen Park. Chase down mascots for photos at the autumn festival there. Eat “birthday cake” (quinoa and chocolate cake and butternut squash pudding) on benches in the raised garden. Watch the sunset. Listen to and watch young women unknowingly dancing to inappropriate hip-hop lyrics. Laugh. Fall asleep on the train home. Get cleaned up and off to dinner. Drink wine. Get to dinner late because I’m the birthday girl / jerk / wearing heels / it’s raining. Have a blast with friends, margaritas, and Mexican goods. Fall asleep again watching Downton Abbey. Woot 24!

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