26

Today, I am 26.

Today, I will wake up to sunshine and cracked windows. I will wake up to the fresh scent of the lilacs that have been clipped and placed in vases on my coffee table, my dresser, and my windowsill. I will feel relaxed. Fresh. Excited. Happy. 

Today, I will not want to get out of bed. I'll roll to my right side, burrowing under my white comforter. Burying my face into my partner's chest. Holding on. Hanging on. His eyes will flicker, and his arm will slide over me, to the small of my back. "Good morning," he'll tell me, pressing his lips to my forehead, my cheeks, my lips. Whatever is easiest. Whatever is accessible. Whatever he can touch. "Happy Birthday."

Today, I am 26.

At age five, I wanted to be a zookeeper. At age 10, I wanted to be a singer-songwriter. At age 14, I wanted to be a fashion designer. At 18, an editor. At 26, I want to be happily ever after. 

Today, I will eventually and reluctantly leave my bed, and leave behind my partner. As I ready myself for work, he will pull my pillow toward himself, cradling it. Before I leave, I will whisper to him, "See you later." And then, I will be out the door and down the steps. On my bike and on the streets, pedaling. I will take the Cultural Trail to the office, just as I do every day. But today I am 26, and so the sounds, and the smells, and the sights are sweeter. So much sweeter. The smooth hum of tires on pavement. The captivating scent of freshly-baked bread. The glow of the sunrise on buildings that have yet to open. 

At work, I will watch the clock and count the hours. I will be as anxious as an eight-year-old, for tonight will be my party. Is it time yet? Is it time yet? Is it time yet? I'm eager. Excited. Happy. 

Today, I am 26 and young at heart. 

I feel lucky, not "old."

I have been introduced to sunshine, oceans, animals, new countries, and new cultures. I've met, loved, and lost friends and family. I've experienced bliss. I've had my heart broken. I've been kissed in the rain, but have woken up to burnt toast and an empty refrigerator. I still daydream about what I want to do and who I want to be, and I wonder about all the things in this life that have yet to expose themselves to me. I wonder about the souls I have yet to met, the souls who will continue to inspire, motivate, and change me. 

Because, today, I'm only 26.

14 comments:

  1. Learned a lot about u just from reading this... At 26, I had my first, (of 3) now she is 33.... Enjoy each day... to know what I know now, I wished I knew at 26! :-)

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    1. My mom will often compare herself to how she was at my age. At 26, she was married and had a two-year-old son (my brother). He's set to turn 34 at the end of this month. :) When I'm older, I'm sure any future children I have will do the same thing--look at themselves and then wonder what I was like at that age. :)

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  2. happy birthday, dearest. may all of your wishes come true on this day and always. xx

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  3. Beautifully written. Happy, happy birthday! And no, 26 is not old. I turned 30 in September and I still am trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Life is ever-evolving and if it weren't, there would be no fun or adventure to it all. Enjoy your day!

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  4. Happy Birthday! And this in itself could be a short story (as you can tell I am now obsessed with the idea of you writing more fiction :p) I hope you have a lovely party tonight and hope you'll blog about it soon! xxx
    La Lingua : Food, Life, Love, Travel, Friends, Italy

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    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes! I'm hoping to do some more creative nonfiction after this weekend, as I'll be seeing some friends. I really should try and write fiction more. Thanks for the extra push! :) Have a good weekend, yourself!

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  5. Happy birthday, Dawn! Can I officially welcome you to your late twenties, or does that start next year? I just turned 27, and I've really enjoyed being 25, 26, 27... It feels like the beginning of an adventure.

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  6. Happy birthday! I also have a May birthday - the 24th. I love May! You seem mature beyond your years. Love your adventurous spirit!

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    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes! It seems that there are many May babies, such as yourself, who get to celebrate this month. :) Do you have any special plans for your birthday yet? Again, thank you for commenting -- and for reading! Your kind words mean so much.

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  7. Happy Birthday!! Hope you have a wonderful and I hope this next year is blessed and filled with many adventures :)

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  8. Happy birthday Dawn!!!! i love how you see 26. live it, lady! here's to another adventurous year of life!

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  9. This is beautiful. I hope you had a lovely birthday evening. xo

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  10. Happy happy belated birthday!! (Sorry I am like a week late...) 26 will be an amazing year for you!

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  11. Belated birthday wishes, Dawn, for happiness, wonder, inspiration, love and amazing experiences and moments every day!

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