Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bastille Day '12

I can’t seem to fall asleep tonight. I’m lying awake, hoping that eventually exhaustion will consume me and take me into that peaceful, unconscious state. But it hasn’t. Life is keeping me from surrendering over to it. I’m awake, allowing thoughts to jump in and out of my head. It always amazes me how much information my brain can mull over as the minutes on the clock slowly turn.  It dawned on me tonight that it’s been a considerable amount of time since I blogged. In fact, I realized I have not even really opened my computer in the past month. So in my state of mindfulness, I figure I might as well get some writing done…

Last weekend, I turned 23. For those of you that may not know me very well, birthdays are my absolute favorite thing to celebrate. So when it comes to celebrating my own, well, you can only imagine my excitement. The month of July has, in my family, become known as my birthday month where I basically anticipate and expect to be spoiled for 31 days and 31 nights.

Controversially, this year my father got remarried on… my birthday… July 14th.

To be honest, when my Dad and Step Mom announced that my birthday, and that of my twin’s, would be the date of their wedding, I was a little upset. Selfishly, all I could think about was my day; my month; my big 2-3.However, after the initial shock, annoyance, and minor disappointment, I started to realize that this date really couldn’t be more perfect. On this date, I have officially known my Dad for exactly 23 years. Now 23 isn’t exactly a perfect round number nor is it a game changer like turning 21, but still, it serves as a particular point of reference for me.

For 23 years, I have known my Dad. And when I say I have known my Dad, I mean I have really gotten to know him over the years. I have loved him, and I have hated him. I have been disappointed in him, and I have been inspired by him. I have seen his temper, and I made him laugh. I have learned from him, and I would like to think I have taught him a thing or two, as well. Our relationship has not always been perfect but having had the pleasure of being his daughter for 23 years, has really allowed me to know and understand him maybe better than anyone (besides maybe my two older sisters that have enjoyed similar opportunities).

Over the past 23 years, I have really gotten to know my Dad; which is why I don’t really mind sharing my birthday with his anniversary anymore. In all my years of knowing my Dad, I have never seen him as happy as he is when he is with my Step Mom. In fact, before my Dad met, who I have come to know as the love of his life, I had never seen my dad in love- and he was married to my mom for half of my life. My step mom has changed my Dad in ways that I can only hope someone will do for me one day. She has made him better. He is visibly more patient, more passionate, more understanding... He has this new love for life that I have only recognized in a few. Watching him love her over the past few years has given me a new outlook on love and life that I don’t think I had before, as I never had a great example set for me in terms of relationships and love. They have this, “anything is possible” sort of love. One that can only be found in a deep-seeded level of respect and compassion they have for one another.

I am a respecter and lover of Love. And after having taken a step back from my own ego, I have realized how lucky I am to share my most favorite day of the year with two people that truly embody that reality.