"I want to date Taylor Swift so she'll write a song about me," my friend Bryan wished aloud as we drove back to his place. Taylor wasn't playing on the radio, so I'm not exactly sure where his dream thought derived from, but we both laughed at the ridiculousness (i.e. unlikeliness) of his idea ever happening.
But his statement prompted me to deliberate: Should I admit that I had written a song about him? I mean, it wasn't exactly about him, but it involved him, and a day we spent together... titled... That One Day... with simple chords, mainly the E to A to B slide on my guitar. I wrote it 13 years ago, but I could probably still play it - maybe. Ah, no, I can't tell him. He'll insist I play it for him, and it was one of the first songs (out of a half dozen) I've written so it isn't very good. In fact, it is bad.
Instead I shared what I recalled him telling me on That One Day. "We were at Doheny Beach, putting wax on our boards, and you told that someday you wanted to invent surf wax scented perfume for women. Surfwax and campfire."
But rather than starting a perfume business, Bryan took up professional poker playing. After a stint in Vegas, he moved to Colorado where, in the warmer months, he guides white water rafting excursions down the Blue River. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOMuc9OcZh8
Our conversation wandered as we drove along that river. "For my birthday," Bryan explained, "my girlfriend asked, 'What do you want to do? It's your birthday. You get to do whatever you want.' And I told her, 'I already do what I want every day.'"
It's true. Most days he really does do whatever he wants. He lives the adventure so most days fall in the exceptional category rather than in the mundane.
I suppose that's why I was nervous about my birthday this year. I tend to live a lot of adventure, and especially so when I'm in California, where the adventuresome life seems far more accessible than in rural Michigan. In the weeks leading up to my birthday I had several perfectly amazing days - days where I did whatever I wanted. I feared my actual birthday would be a disappointment in comparison to my beach day and volleyball at Venice Beach, exploring and rockclimbing at Malibu Creek State Park, and my hot springs getaway at the Miracle Manor.
When you're single it's up to you to figure out how to make your birthday special, and it's the only holiday you get (no anniversary, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc.). I had wondered in leaving CA a week early if I might be fated to spend my birthday alone. My four closest female friends in Colorado were already booked with other plans on my birthday evening. But thankfully, Bryan, wasn't. After two rather dismal birthdays in a row, this year my birthday was epic, and I couldn't be more grateful.
But as my friend Bryan pointed out, we shouldn't wait for our birthdays to embrace the goodness that life has to offer. Our time on this planet ought to be filled with friends and adventures that awaken our spirits. Perhaps it ought to feel like our birthday, where we celebrate life with others over a meal or adventuresome fun, at least once a week rather than once in 12 months.