Year 26. Goodbye, quarter-life crisis. Greetings, old age descent.

My birthday (January 7th) was fantastic. There was a double birthday in the office, so to celebrate the special occasion, the Quietly Qrew surprised us with cake. They are quite something special! That night, I saw an advanced screening of the civil rights movement drama, Selma. Brilliantly directed and sensationally acted, it is an emotional, impactful film that is alarmingly relevant to the civil unrest and racial tensions in America today. Just goes to show that while society has progressed a long way in the last fifty years, there’s still A LOT that needs to be done to eradicate prejudice attitudes and actions. How? Well, that’s what the people need to band together to figure out, but I believe it starts with discussion, which Selma aims to fuel. From food for thought to too much food to stomach… my birthday weekend was filled with lunches and dinners with family and friends (proof that my Mom and my BFFs are the best at choosing cards). I ate a lot and will be checking myself into the nearest fitness centre (LOL I LIE).

A feature I appreciate on Facebook are the birthday reminders, as they nudge you to take the opportunity to say hello to the people from your alma maters, from past work and volunteer experiences, and from elsewhere who you haven’t talked to in light years. I don’t complain about the flood of birthday messages received because I like seeing these familiar faces pop up on my wall.

But this year, as I went through to thanks these old friends, I got to thinking: Why don’t I stay in touch with people more regularly? Why does it take a birthday to remind me to keep up with their lives?

So that’s when I realized, I need to start initiating more conversations and inquiring more into the lives of the people I care to know more fondly. I may know I value their friendship, but they won’t know it unless I make the effort to engage with them and be curious and interested in their lives. If there’s anything I learned from the events of last year, I need to not allow myself to be limited by and settle for convenience and work to make the most of my relationships in this very moment – because it’s all we’ve got.

This battle I have with something that sounds as simple as having conversations with your friends is part of living up in my mind all around the clock. David Archuleta wrote a very personal and honest self-reflective blog post expressing what it’s like to be in an introspective state of mind, along with the struggles that come with being an introverted individual (I thought hiding in bathrooms was just MY party trick!) Realizing that introversion is not a personality flaw and embracing who you are is freeing. It took me many many years of self-discovery to get to a place of self-assurance, and I found that reading other people’s stories and even sharing your own was a great help in validating that, in Archuleta’s words. “I do matter. My own thoughts, opinions, feelings, and ideas are good enough because they are my own and are for me.” And while I believe in my quiet ideals of peaceful solitude and inner thinking, I’m always striving towards being more open and outgoing with others, because people are fascinating and inspiring, and being louder with how I present myself to the world (case in point, this blog). This is the act of gaining confidence, one step at a time, quietly.

My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is gonna be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, dad, today is a great day. I can and I did.” – Gina Rodriguez

Photo by yours truly from Salt Lake City, Utah back in March 2009. Marvelous view, ain’t it?

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