Funny how those significant birthdays you see others have seem so far off at the time. It didn’t feel like it should be time for me to have this kind of “significant” birthday, and so I decided if a party was going to be thrown for me, it must be fun. That meant no reference to being “over” anything, and by golly, there must be dancing. Absolutely, there must be dancing.

This birthday turned out to be significant indeed. Unbeknownst to my husband and I at the time, we were a few months away from our lives being utterly and entirely different. Utterly and entirely as in every possible way possible kind of different. Who knew how special it would be to look back on this opportunity we had to spend time with these people all together like that? And not just to celebrate me.

Seems that birthdays call for cake, and cake calls for singing regardless of age. It is not usual to have dozens gather around and all sing to one person. It’s comical to me that this seems to be the time some feel it best to try out some new vocal stylings. Maybe it’s the comfort of knowing all the words to the song. But that is less awkward than opening presents in front of everyone where the pressure is on to respond as the giver is hoping for.

I sorta botched that part up when I went running across the room to hug the friend that had given me the gift I would never have thought would be in that pile. I had not done that for the other gifts I had opened. Oops. I was genuinely overcome with what this gift represented, and so I ran.

The friend that had encouraged me to paint in the first place surprised me with my own art kit. I don’t think I needed a whole hand to count how many people I had even told that I had begun painting. Needless to say, these close friends and family wanted an explanation about this gift and stat.

I decided to go for it. I shared the story that led to this gift. There were varied reactions and responses, some of which were directed to the friend who had gifted me this. None of that seemed to matter. What mattered was that I felt like I had graduated. The training wheels were coming off, and I was embarking officially on my own adventure of discovery with this set. It was going to be an adventure with acrylics. I promised to make good use of it. It was timely in ways I didn’t even know yet.

I felt like I’d been given treasure. Treasure I would take with me as my husband and I started our own new adventure.