Celebrating My 30th Birthday

by Sarah Birdsong
A handful of dear friends who threw me a surprise birthday party.

I’m sure you’ve noticed a break in my postings. I can assure you that was not intended. I have been on a different sort of adventure recently—the kind that invokes memories of network TV medical dramas.

There’s a lot I would like to unpack and share with you on that topic. But as I am still recovering, I need time to transform my medical escapades into words.

In the meantime, I will discuss something slightly more interesting and enjoyable to write about: my birthday!

Birthday Ponderings: Looking Back on My 20s

Today is my 30th birthday. I must say that I’m not sorry to see my 20s go. While it may be a milestone that some dread, the only thing I wondered as the day drew nearer was, “Did I make the most the last decade? Did I leave anything unsaid, any stone unturned?”

I’ve never been particularly fussed about my age in the traditional sense. However, I’ve always been a late bloomer in every sense of the word. From when I attended college, to when I broke into the professional sphere, to when I began to finally pursue my dreams of writing and making art for a living post-college tenure… I’ve nearly always been a day late and a dollar short.

So, when it comes to turning 30, I’ve ruminated over whether or not the I spent the last decade wisely.

Now at 30, the understanding and perspective I have empower me more than at any other stage in my life. I was terrified and clueless at 20—but what I did have was nerve.

Nerve will see you through many trials; it will keep you warm when you’re cold at night. But experience will have an impact on your perspective while you weather the night. My nerve razed my 20s and delivered me squarely on the doorstep of 30. Unscathed? Hardly. But here I am, nonetheless.

My 20s found me raging into the wee hours of morning, caught me arguing with professors over grading policies, saw me scrambling to make ends meet. By contrast, my 30s have already seen me apologizing less, questioning more, and being more comfortable with who I am instead of who I wish I could be.

I spent my 20s trimming away the fat of who I ultimately wanted to be. By contrast, I’ll spend my 30s secure in the knowledge that not every storm exists to destroy what you’ve built.

Sometimes it’s there to clear a path.

This won’t be my only lesson from my 20s I’ll keep close to the cuff; I’ll cherish a decade of freedom and discovery I’ll never again experience. I’ll always look back fondly on those times and enjoy the scenery of the roads I’ve traveled to get where I am now.

Celebrating my 30th Birthday

As I have noted, since September I have all but lived in a hospital. I will expand on this later, however, it made planning a birthday party impossible for me to do. Chronic illness has upended my life and I’d accepted the fact that I would spend my 30th quietly.

Sean had other plans.

Unbeknownst to me, he orchestrated a birthday party at our local pub, The Marlay House. He and a handful of my friends managed to keep this fact a secret from me for nearly two weeks. While Sean and his long-time friend Alan met everyone at the pub under the guise of going to watch a soccer match, Elisa tricked me into thinking we were going for high tea at Dr. Bombay’s. Alan purposely left his phone in Elisa’s car, and it was this ruse that saw me to my surprise birthday party—complete with celebratory singing.

I couldn’t have asked for any better.


I have compiled a list of additional resources regarding this entry and its contents for researching the topics therein:

The Marlay House: an authentic Irish pub in the heart of downtown Decatur, and our favorite haunt.

Dr. Bombay’s: an offbeat tea house serving high tea and sweet treats.

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