May 1st has always been a good day for me. It's the beginning of lots of things. My birthday month, for one, but also all good things. Spring. Harvest. The end of school. Golf season. Prom. Thunderstorms. Other people's birthdays. May Day is my Uncle Ray's birthday and also my cousin Amanda's. I always think May Day is a lovely day. It sticks out in my mind every year and reminds me that my birthday is only 9 days away.
Normally, every year before my birthday I try to take some time—a few hours, an afternoon, a few days maybe—and evaluate my life. I want to purposely look at my goals for the year, my accomplishments since my last birthday and I want to check the alignment of my heart. Is God center? Am I doing right?
I do this every year but with being on Kangaroo Island and all, it seems like I've been deeply evaluating and reflecting on my life for the past six weeks. I had thought through my past in all different ways. I had thought through the present until my head hurt. I had even studied the blankness of my future and written several pages on it.
I didn't have the answers. I knew what I wanted. It was just outside my grasp. I was living in the moment. God had opened my heart to the important things in life that I needed to know about: loving others. I had grown to really, fully appreciate my parents, grandparents and family. I came from a wonderful town with great caring people. I had realized my success and accomplishments were really not that important to anyone, not even to myself. Ambiguity wasn't so much a factor either, I didn't need to be loved by strangers. I had the love inside of me.
You know, it's funny how your fears change with age. When I was 19 I remember a friend of mine asking me what my biggest fear was. At the time I said it was that I wouldn't end up a success. My biggest fear was failure. A few years later you could have asked me the same question and my response would have been being too successful. At 24 my biggest fear was not living out my dreams of writing and traveling. And 9 days from my 25th birthday I think my biggest fear is not soaking up every minute of love that this life has to offer.
I was ready for 25. A peace had rushed over me and I was no longer afraid of growing up. Was it because I had seen a foreign country? Was it because I was writing daily? I don't think it was any of those things. I think it was because I had taken time to figure out what was important in life, not just to others, but to me.
So on May 1st, 2016 I sat next to a fireplace with three wonderful people. Our plates were full with pasta salad, spicy baked carrots and turkish bread with sour cream. The glass of wine in my right hand occasionally mixed with my meal, causing the flavors to explode all around each other. I embraced the richness of the meal and the richness of the friends around me. How fortunate I was. God had blessed me once again with food, shelter and friends. What more could I want?