Birthdays have always been pretty special to me, ever since I was a little girl who religiously had several back to back celebrations at a place rightfully called "Let's Dress Up" -I think you get the gist- and realized being born in August meant cookie dough ice cream cakes were more than appropriate when you live in the midwest. Every year so far has continued in the same vein. I've never really put too much pressure on how I celebrate and usually have a pretty easy time figuring out what I want to do, surprise, surprise, because I am constantly finding ways to celebrate year round let's face it. Celebrating to me doesn't always include a party, in fact the majority of my celebrations are by myself or with one or two other people; like going to the movies by myself on Friday afternoons, drinking brut rosé at the beach with Arthur just because or deciding to spend a whole weekend at home to reset and unwind. Don't get me wrong, lots of celebrations include dinner with a friend, a girls night out a cool restaurant or an elaborate cheese plate, but I guess my point is it doesn't have to. And this year is the quite the same; a nice lunch with friends, a nice lunch with Arthur, maybe a massage at some point and definitely seeing one of my favorite summer reads on the big screen, Crazy Rich Asians, which is coming out right around my birthday and I will most likely go see by myself! I do think a birthday is a good time to reflect, not in the New Year's resolution type of way, but more like just an acknowledgment of how life has evolved over the last year. Keep in mind that reflections don't have to be goal oriented or have some kind of measure to them. I think we get so wrapped up in the number of years we are turning and what it's supposed to mean in terms of where we are in our life. I think one of the things I have done successfully  over the years is my choice to focus being grateful and celebrating myself just because! I don't think birthdays need to be earned, we are entitled to them! So in terms of reflecting this year a lot of the themes are similar to the last time I wrote a post like this. Like looking for fulfillment from myself and being able to let go of the things that don't seem to serve me. I still feel the same way; my life has changed a bit considering I met Arthur and am starting a new life with him, and my new little pig son (Pierre a French bulldog, not a real pig, but super close). I have always viewed my relationship as a major addition, a beautiful, wonderful, amazing change in my life, but never the new foundation. Fulfillment for me comes from the choices I make, the opportunities I open myself up to and as a result, the rest has come. The great relationships I have with so many friends, family members and colleagues. The healthy relationship I choose to be in with Arthur. The way I get to feel most of the time because I am doing what I truly want. So looking back on this year I have certainly had some great highs and of course, some lows. Most notably getting engaged to Arthur and starting our next chapter will be a forever top life moment. Second to that, passing my LCSW exam and getting licensed was a major accomplishment that I am SO GLAD is done and last but not least, getting to spend another year with incredible friends who are supportive, kind, loyal and fun. I honestly don't know what I would do without my little LA family (aka friends) who make all the difference. I don't necessarily have set goals for being 29 since I feel like life is always a process, like the ocean, with ebbs and flows of successes and setbacks, but I do look forward to continuing to mentor graduate interns, marrying the love of my life next summer and putting all the extra creative energy I have into my wonderful slice of respite, Gisele Chic! Thank you for following my journey and talking time to read this, always looking forward to what's next. 



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