Yesterday I woke up and contemplated calling off the birthday festivities.


For 10 minutes, I pondered. Finally, I decided to show up. I put on the dress I had set aside the night before. It’s my funeral dress, a dark navy slip that falls just above my knees and has two pockets handy.


I walked, hands shoved in my pockets, to the BU bridge. It was a surprisingly beautiful day, given Boston’s unpredictability. The sun was radiant, and bouncy clouds punctuated the sky’s brilliant blue canvas.


Each step I took filled me with dread. Today, I was prepared to mark the death of my childhood. Today, this was its funeral.


You know, life surprises us in pleasant, unexpected ways. I came to the bridge, feeling like I was leaving something behind with each step that carried me closer to it.


The BU bridge offers the most marvelous view of the Boston skyline…and on that beautiful, warm morning, I stopped in the middle and admired the metropolis. Quietly, I leaned on the railing and pondered. My friends walked on. I said nothing. For that brief moment, I savoured the solitude.


Well, I thought. Today’s the day, whether I like it or not. I’ve lived two decades…I’m 20 years old…it still sounds strange.


But amidst the tinge of sadness, longing, and wistfulness, there was a hint of joy.


This year, I am choosing joy. Happiness, I feel, is very contingent on our circumstances. Joy is not. I am choosing joy, and I am choosing to take a nice long walk with Jesus this year. I’m curious to know where He’s taking me.


Thank you to Sarah, Amanda, and Melissa for showing me that birthdays are not funerals. Thank you for celebrating with me. You made the day one that I will not forget.


Thank you, Gayle for surprising me with cupcakes! Your sweet gesture tied up the day with a lovely ribbon.


Thank you to Auntie Anne, Uncle Phil, Carolyn, and Lily, for the sweetest surprise on Easter. It made 20 feel less horrible. I had so much fun with you.


And finally, thanks, friends + family, for remembering me. It means the world.

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