"I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age,
The ending of an era and the turning of a page,
Now its time to focus in on where I go from here,
And I'll do it better in my next thirty years."
("My Next Thirty Years")
In the past I've not tried to hide or avoid my birthday, just not advertise it. I have no problem being the center of attention - I'm a teacher after all - but only on my own self-imposed, red-faced terms. Also, birthdays growing up were never huge affairs; most were low-key events involving immediate family, a card from Grandma, a nice breakfast before school, a midnight phone call from a friend.
Turning thirty must have flipped the switch. I not only observed the passing of my third decade, I got to have two parties. Two!
The first was beyond my control. Most Sundays I do a movie date with some friends. The second weekend in December, my actual birthday, was no different and I went to a cinema near my house with Kristin and Kelsi, who informed me beforehand that we would get dinner afterward. We did, but not before taking me to a mens' clothing store, having me pick out a tie, then blindfolding me with it, and taking a taxi ride to an undisclosed location and lead to a private room full of friends! (Side note: A gringo, riding through Cali, Colombia, in the back seat of a taxi, blindfolded surely turned a few heads; of course I couldn't see them...)
|Friends at Platillos Voladores...one of Cali's best!|
|Ridiculous hats and cakes...happy surprise birthday!|
|The invitation to rumba!!!|
|With Rob and Daniel|
|Black & White party people!|
Dancing salsa, merengue, and a bit of reggaeton until almost three in the morning surrounded by friends who have become my "Colombian family" reminds me how incredibly blessed this experience of living here these past four and a half years have been. The first thirty years were fantastic; I can't wait to see what God has in store for my next thirty!