One of the dearest people in my life has a birthday today (happy birthday to you!), which has me musing about birthdays, and the nature of growing. Growing older. Growing wiser. Growing happier. Growing up? Do we ever really grow up? These days, at least, I feel like I am stretching and growing into the woman I want to be. It is not easy, though, I must admit. Growth and change are never easy or comfortable, but I try to remember that those are the things can move us forward to new places, to new realizations, and even to new joys. Shedding the self-doubts, embracing the imperfections, trying to make a difference in the face of injustice — these are the difficult, but worthy, parts of the journey.
New Year’s Day comes flooded with resolutions, good intentions, and reflections on the old year, but I think birthdays can be much more personal waypoints for introspection and new intentions. There is no external pressure to make a NEW YOU and improve ALL THE THINGS the way there is at New Year’s — just you and your own personal new chapter, a new year of you, and perhaps some loved ones to celebrate with as you turn that page.
I won’t pretend that I am there yet, wherever “there” might be. I’ll keep trying to learn and grow and be as me as I can muster, discomfort and all. But in the meantime, I can surround myself with people I trust, bake an amazing birthday cake, and celebrate another year in the life of someone special.
One of the most decadently delightful cakes I have made is this peanut butter chocolate stunner from Smitten Kitchen. Make it for someone you care about (even yourself!), and enjoy wholeheartedly. Relish that birthday, and the person you are becoming.