thirty two

On Friday I turned 32.
To celebrate, I painted my nails bright pink
Ate cupcakes for breakfast.
Indulged in a black motorcycle bomber from h+m because it was everything I am not. And I love it.
I smudged smoke around my eyes and put care into my curls.
We wandered around Bobcaygeon and shared icecream with the kids.
Then I spent the evening in the VIP lounge for the Sarah McLachlin concert in Toronto.

I have adored her music since highschool and as I thought of all the things she has sang me through, she walked out onto the stage and I cried.   I couldn’t help but think about my youth and all the things I would have done had I been braver.  It all reminded me that I get to do this living ‘thing’ my way.  It has me thinking about the bravery I am capable of.  Needless to say, her crescendos touched long forgotten places and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra toook my breath away. So, instead of stifling the tears, I let them flow and pool in the hollow of my collarbone; and instead of sitting when those around me sat, I stood and cheered and hollared. I was surrounded by other strong women who were also crying and cheering, each for her own reason.

I spent my birthday (and the past few weeks) away from Facebook and it has been nice.  The truth is, I hate all those hundreds of empty birthday wishes that always roll in.  They make spending the day alone unbearable.  But this year was different.  I wasn’t lonely and I appreciated the very small handful of phone calls, emails, and cards that fluttered in.  It was the best birthday since I turned 19.  The final week of thirty one was cleansing and a bit exhausting. I was able to identify, put words to, and work through many of the emotions I have been wrestling with since I turned thirty.  It feels wonderful and light.

I will reunite with Facebook, but not because I miss it.  I don’t at all.  It was like when we shut off our cable; we thought we would die without it, but you just don’t.  You’re just a little out of the loop.  About 98% of the friendships are based soley on convenience and my assumptions that people only care about you when it is convenient to were well proven.  It is ok, I get it.  We’re all busy and Facebook lets us get to know and communicate with people we would otherwise never meet or chat with.  It is intimate and shallow all at once.  It is what it is and many great connections have been made through it.  It is an amazing tool of our generation and I choose to use it.

I seem to begin (or finish, depending on how you like to look at it) with some sort of list {thirtythirty one.}

This year I hope to:

embrace my strength
accept my weakness
paint my nails
take myself out of the box I’ve created
make time for quiet
wear fun shoes
make peace with my legs and post baby body
perhaps even wear a dress or two
make more things; big and small
remember the girl who likes to wear big earrings made of feathers and seashells
mix wine with my cider
learn to relax
stop apologizing for how messy our house is
let Poppy choose the colour more often
plant more flowers
get away
hug strangers and loved ones often
do it my own way
go gently + be wonderful
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  1. Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm by Brittany | Permalink

    i loved your honesty in this post. very candid and unabashed. and i’d like to extend a belated birthday wish to you, even if it is internet-sent and empty. :)

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm by erin | Permalink

      I appreciate the empty wish as well as the kind words!

  2. Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm by Carla | Permalink

    Happy birthday, it sounds like you had a wonderful time and are starting this year with some beautiful intentions.

  3. Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm by Amberlea | Permalink

    Happy returns, my friend. Sounds like a fantastic way of ringing in 32. Good on you. And yes, more hugs is a good goal. :) And do let me know if you find any secrets about learning to relax. Something I need to learn as well. Hard-wired as we are to be productive and do, do, DO all the time, rather than just be, be, be… Maybe mixing wine with cider will help 😉 xo
    p.s.> You. are. wonderful.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm by erin | Permalink

      Oh my goodness, don’t even talk to me about wonderful!
      Not a week goes by that I don’t wish we were neighbors.

  4. Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm by macKenzie m | Permalink

    your words never cease to amaze me. happy birthday, lovely one. thank you for always being open, honest, and beautiful. i hope 32 brings everything you want and need. xxo

  5. Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm by Galadriel | Permalink

    Hi Erin,

    I’ve enjoyed your blog. May I extend birthday wishes to you as well; I also turn 32 this year and from what you write, it sounds like a pretty good age to be.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm by erin | Permalink

      Thank you so very much!
      I think it will be a great year and hope the same for you.

  6. Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm by Margie | Permalink

    I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday and let you know how much I enjoy your blog! I also love your intentions for the year. (I turned 32 in January – it’s a good age to be. :-)

  7. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm by Christa Ormiston | Permalink

    I have been meaning to message you for a long time. I LOVE reading your posts!! Gosh, have you ever come a long way for our Writer’s Craft Class in OAC. I believe Mr. H??? would be quite impressed where your writing skills have taken you. You have a truly exquisite way of putting words to your thoughts with honesty and emotion.
    Thank you for enlightening me when my days are long at home with three little ones.
    All the best!
    Happy Birthday! As the years pasa and I watch loved ones struggle with life’s tragedies, I become more and more thankful for each day I’m given. You seem to be enjoying all of yours!

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm by erin | Permalink

      Wow christa!
      Thanks so much for the kind words.

  8. Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm by Teresa C | Permalink

    Oh, I love your list… May I wish you a wonderful year? I hope you keep telling its tale.

  9. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm by Amanda Neville | Permalink

    This is brilliant. You are brilliant. And encouraging!
    Thank you for writing this post. We all can learn something from you.
    Happy 32! Make it a looooooooonnnnngggggg enjoyable 32!

  10. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm by Joe kelly | Permalink

    You could easily hold a mirror to yourself when proving the assumption that 98% of people of Facebook only care when it’s convenient. It just shows that no one really has 200 friends. I’m barely capable of puttin the energy into the three our four friendships I cherish most. Humans aren’t made that way. It just reads like you don’t put yourself in the group you are judging and I know that’s not your style.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm by erin | Permalink

      I agree totally Joe.
      It was just me recognizing the benefits and limitations of Facebook. Of course I fall into the same group and though I have good intentions of writing letters to the close few, I never find the time…

  11. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm by Joe kelly | Permalink

    Ps, welcome back to the land of digital connections. It’s not as fullfilling as the real things but it’s way easier.

  12. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm by Kelly | Permalink

    Happy belated birthday! Sounds like it was a wonderful day. I know what you mean about facebook. I need it to keep in contact with everyone since almost all of my loved ones live far away. But the times when I am away or too busy to check it… are always wonderful times!

  13. Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm by Annette | Permalink

    Your transforming continues to astound me- always growing more and more into you in the most inspiring ways. So much love and admiration to you, always, even if it’s not always timely or conveyed.

  14. Posted June 28, 2012 at 7:45 am by Heather | Permalink

    Your list looks great! I have been trying to embrace who I have turned into in the past several years, it is not easy. I am looking forward to the years ahead, and moving forward with the choices I have made for myself and with my family :-) Happy belated birthday!

  15. Posted June 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm by Morgan G | Permalink

    I know what you mean. My sister told me this week that she quit Facebook. I have had a love/hate relationship with it, but I use it because a lot of my neighbors are on it and we use it to share photos and invite each other to events. In that way it has been great.

    And happy birthday! I turn 31 this year and I’ve been steadily crossing items off my bucket list. I’ve found that a lot of my personal growth and self-awareness is occurring during this phase of my life.

  16. Posted June 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm by dre | Permalink

    Many happy returns! Love your list for this year. Very thoughtful.

  17. Posted June 29, 2012 at 1:38 am by Johanna | Permalink

    Happy birthday beautiful!
    I love your birthday list and seeing Sarah McLachlan preform with the TO Symphony sounds heavenly!

  18. Posted June 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm by mel | Permalink

    GAHHH! I’m all for ‘unplugging’ but now that I missed your birthday I’m not!! heheh… sorry for the belated wishes dear heart.
    Yes, good thoughts. Friends that are a mile wide and only a half inch deep doesn’t quite fit that ‘mermaid soul’ of yours eh? Me neither, but a necessary ‘evil’ all the same.. to stay a bit more in the world of another I may lose otherwise…. so, we’re agreed then!
    Glad you had a beauty day, because YOU are.
    muah muah muah.. and all that mush.
    Mel ;o)

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