Thursday, January 28, 2010

On my 28th Birthday

The top 28 moments of my life, in no particular order, as they came to me… some are sweet, some are shallow, all were significant… there are so many more, so many I’m sure I’ve forgotten, but today, these are the moments that come to mind as the best of the best:

Holding my baby brother for the first time at age five.

Standing inside the Sistine Chapel, staring up at that oh so famous ceiling.

The first time I saw a real Monet painting in the Louvre and realized art doesn't have to be complicated to be beautiful.

At my first concert at age 11… Bryan Adams… the moment my dad and I were walking back from the souvenir stand to our nosebleed seats and the stage lit up in front of us, the music began to blare, my hair got blown back from the bass and Bryan began belting out “House Arrest.” And so began my love affair with Bryan Adams…

So many Vegas moments that I just have to simply say “Vegas” and smile.

The first time I....*censored* ;)

My final night in Cancun with Sydney and Marica… sitting at the dinner table in the candlelight, drinking a bottle of white wine, looking out at the ocean as the sun set and enjoying their companionship.

A kiss in a hallway that brought me back to life.

The first time my father told me he was proud of me.

Four words: "This definitely isn't cancer."

Standing front row center at the Matchbox Twenty concert, making two hour eye contact with Rob Thomas after having met the band.

Moments after Mr. W asked me to marry him when we danced to "Keeper of the Stars" and all 100 people around us literally seemed to disappear.

The day I realized I genuinely don’t care what people from my past say or think about me… the truths, half-truths and the lies… because I know MY truth and who I am. To say you don't care is one thing, but to really feel it is so liberating.

Walking down the aisle of the church, looking up, seeing the faces of so many people I loved… and Mr. W crying in his tux.

Wedding speeches: My Maid of Honor Yennifer’s and my dad’s. As I watched my best friend give her speech, I realized all she had done for me for the wedding and for the 12 years we’d been friends and I just knew that we would always be in each other’s lives. And no one had any idea my dad was going to speak, but he randomly grabbed the mic and blurted out the most heartwarming, funny, amazing speech I’d ever heard. There are nine million wedding day moments like this, so imagine how difficult it was to narrow it down to these!

Finally knowing what it was like to be the girl pretty enough to bypass the line at the nightclub after being the ugly duckling for years.

Eating a delicious piece of chocolate cake next to Mr. W in the middle of a crowded, loud Times Square intersection in the middle of the night feeling like we were the only two people in the world. It was the definition of a New York moment.

The day I realized my parents weren’t perfect and they weren’t my enemies… they did they best they could and while I may not ever be who they imagined, they do want me to be happy.

Standing at the southern most tip of Isla Mujeres, looking at the Temple of Ixchel and the rolling waves of the ocean, thinking about all the Mayan women who’d made the long journey there to pray for fertility… and being moved to tears by natural beauty for the first time in my life.

The first time I pushed myself past “I can’t” at the gym.

Having brunch at Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

The day I realized I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else but writing for a career, for a hobby, and for life.

Sitting in the press room at Day of Days in LA, mere feet from the actors I’d been watching on TV since I was 11 years old while hundreds of people pressed against the windows wishing they were me.

Doing the zipline with my family…even my scaredy cat mother… in Cancun, 2008. We were together on the platform, but we all had to take the leap alone and trust the ropes. There was all KINDS of symbolism in that.

Reading Sydney’s positive pregnancy test.

The moment the idea for my novel literally jumped into my head.

Today… sitting in the Peacock Room at the Davenport Hotel, the most beautiful bar in town, sipping a lemon drop, reading my amazing Facebook wall posts and birthday tweets, people-watching and feeling at peace with myself and perfectly fine with the fact that I wasn’t wearing one bit of make-up.

Every single night that I am blessed enough to fall asleep next to the man that I love... even on nights when he is grumpy.

 Thank you all so much for making my golden birthday so incredibly special... and, as we discussed on Twitter, fortunately it really IS nothing like a golden shower! I've had the most wonderful day and I still have an Italian dinner and a Saturday night celebration ahead of me. I hope I get 100 years on this planet, but even if I don't... these 28 have been good to me. I'm so grateful.


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