Birthdays

About once a decade or so, my birthday falls on Easter. It’s kind of like being a leap year baby, but with far less frequency.

The first time this happened was my 9th(?) birthday. It was also the day that my Father baptized me, so it was really really special.

The second time this happened, it was my 20th birthday. Which was nice, because 20th birthday are kind of–anti-climatic (in the States at least where being able to order a pint legally is still a year away). I really don’t have any idea what I did that day, except that I took a super cute picture with Jessie (Which I can no longer find!!! WAH!) and that it led to the epic quote from Julia (?) that “Jesus is going to steal Sarah’s thunder!”

I also remember looking at when the next time this would happen would be, realizing I’d be 31, and thinking that I’d be so old. (Excuse me while I laugh hysterically)

So I’m (almost) 31. And you know–I don’t really feel that much different than I did at 20. I’m married, I have carved out a very weird job(s) for myself, but…I don’t think I have life any more figured out now than I did then.

So tomorrow, I’ll rock crying babies (nursery volunteer for life) and think about how many many moons ago, my Dad baptized me. How many moons ago, I celebrated with amazingly good friends who are much further away now, but still epically amazing friends.

And I’ll think about how very very loved I am. By my friend and family, of course. But mainly by a good and glorious God who loves me in my brokeness. Cherishes me despite my sinfulness. Who constantly says “You, my daughter are loved. Just as you are. Fully and completely loved.” And I’ll sigh a deep sigh and smile.

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HIMYM

I have a theory about the How I Met your Mother series finale.

If you loved it, you don’t believe that there is only one soul mate for each person in the world.

If you hated it, you’re a love at first sight, one perfect soul mate for everyone kind of person. (Basically, you’re an early series Ted)

I loved the finale. Because it was so perfectly HIMYM. HIMYM was a sitcom, but it wasn’t a traditional one. And I think that they hid it so well, that people tuned in expecting a happily ever after sitcom kind of finale. And what they got was a HIMYM finale.

HIMYM wasn’t just a silly little sitcom about a dreamy romantic dude and the friends who tried to help him through his often ridiclous romantic issues.

HIMYM was a dramedy sitcom about a group of friends growing up together. But Carter and Craig hid that layer of the show so well that you could watch it as a tradational laugh track sitcom about love.

Think about it with me for a second.

During the course of this series (in no particular order):

1.  Everyone cheats or is cheated on (except Lily and Marshall)

2. The most romantic guy ever has his world rocked when his parents tell him they got divorced…like two years ago. Because despite the fact that they loved each other, they were too fundamentally different as people to make it work. (which is a recurring theme of the series)

3. Everyone but Barney quits or gets fired from a job because they weren’t happy, and then have to deal with the fall out.

4. Marshall’s father dies and he falls apart.

4a. Barney finds his father and really falls apart.

5. There are many many “Come to Jesus” talks (For those that don’t know a come to Jesus talk is where you sit someone you love down and say “I love you. You’re being an idiot. Here’s how you fix it.)

This is not Full House or Boy Meets World where there’s always a lesson at the end of the show and tragedy happens off stage. This was not a tradtional sitcom.

This was a show about life. And in life people die. Love isn’t always enough to make a relationship work (RIP Robin and Barney). You can have more than one great love. You can spend your life wondering if the one got away was the one. You make stupid mistakes and play games with people’s hearts on purpose and unintentionally. You realize that dreams are hard. Parenting is tough.

But the beautiful thing–what I loved about HIMYM–is that even when you’re drowning in a storm of sucky life issues, if you have friends–if you have people who love you–you can get through it.

So I guess HIMYM was a love story. But it was a love story of friends.

Loss

Recently, my grandmother–my last living grandparent–died.

And in the aftermath, I was telling someone “It’s different for me. I’ve spent my entire life losing people that I love.”

And that really got me thinking.

Because it’s true.

I have spent a lifetime losing people that I loved. Starting when I was 4, when I lost my Grandpa who was the light of my young life.

And maybe that rewired something in my brain. Maybe losing a pillar in my life that young–and continuing to lose people every couple years my entire childhood—fundamentally changed the way my brain works. Because it would explain a lot.

I never really thought about what my life would like past about 30. Because on some level, I never expected to be here. (Friends and family who know my penchant for getting myself into the most ridiculous life threatening situations will agree it is a miracle that I am)

I once had an entire conversation with my dear friends and college roommates because it genuinely blew my mind that they would want to keep in regular contact with me when I moved overseas for a year. We had several conversations that were them (very lovingly) telling me things like “Sarah, if you go to the ER you need to call us” or “Sarah when your family member develops cancer, you can’t tell us that and stop replying to calls because we will worry.”

Because for me–people will continually disappear from your life. It’s just—a thing. It happens.

I am well acquainted with my stages of grief and crisis mode because it’s happened so many times. I have had a plan for how to handle my parents deaths since I was a teenager. I don’t expect to always have people in life. Because it’s never been true.

I don’t say this to garner sympathy or because I want people to feel sorry for me. I have a blessed life. But I really think that maybe all of the ways that I approach life and relationships stem from this basic principle that I absorbed as a child. People will leave you. Nothing is permanent. And if that’s true–how do I unlearn that?