I spent Friday night on the dance floor of Clinton's, surrounded by friends, dancing our faces off to music we would have listened to in our teens. Laughing, sweating, hugging, foot-loose shaking while singing along to every tune, I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I'd not only made it to 30, but I'd made it with this pack of gloriously funny, crazy, beautiful people by my side and they'd made all the difference in a life that has been a mosaic of good times and bad.
It's interesting how one experience can change your view of things for years, maybe even a lifetime, to come. I had a bad birthday once - a birthday so bad that it made me question my identity and everything I thought I knew to be true. Ever since then I've been trying to make up for that day by celebrating the hell out of life; especially around my birthday.
For the past couple years I've thrown big birthday parties with lots of food, and booze, and cake, and games, and it has been awesome and fun, but this year I wanted to do something different - this year I wanted to travel and dance.
My boyfriend helped me with the travelling part as we explored Quebec City the weekend before I turned 30. We walked every where, ate tons of delicious food, practiced our broken French, and learned a lot about a beautiful city. The trip inspired a new travelling goal that might take us a while to achieve, but will be worth the time and effort when all is said and done. Our goal is to visit every capital in Canada - a lofty goal, but for every city we get to I'll be reminded that this idea was born while celebrating a milestone birthday and that when I was 30 I liked to dream big.
(Side note: Getting to Iqaluit will be the real challenge since Nunavut has such a short tourism season and costs a fortune to get to, but it's doable if we save every dime we find. Maybe 20 years from now I'll ask all of you to join me on a cruise through the Arctic to celebrate my 50th birthday - wouldn't that be nuts!)
There have been some heartbreaking moments in 2016. There has been death, illness, and loss in my life and the lives of those close to me, so I wanted my birthday, more than ever, to be a celebration of living it up. I called upon my friends to join me for the aforementioned dancing in hopes that a night out would remind me to live in the moment and never take a second for granted. You never know when a dance might be your last, so move, sing along, and make it count.
My arms still hurt from all that moving, my feet tender from the dancing, and my throat is sore from all the singing along. I swear, I didn't hurt this much when I was 29; it didn't take this long to recover. Thirty might be more painful than 29, but I'm planning to make it pain that's full of gain as I gain more good memories, friends, family, experiences, and eye-crossing love.
|The tracks taking us away from Quebec and|
back home to Toronto on the eve of my 30th.