I’ll admit: I was a little anxious the days leading up to my birthday. No, it wasn’t because of the age or the number or the infamous “quarter-life crisis” (I already had my premature crisis at 21). It was simply because this was the first time I was spending my birthday away from home, family and my closest friends and I found myself all on my own with no idea what to do and who to spend it with.
Even though I’ve been surrounded by the loveliest people and have met so many wonderful people in the eight months since my move, I’ve never been big on birthdays because I’ve always valued quiet birthdays spent with those who take up the biggest spaces in my heart.
“People love your energy Rachel! People love being around you. Plan something and they’ll show up.”
Jokes on you (because I am the worst planner), but what turned out to be an anxiety-filled birthday ended up being a lot more humbling and eventful than I thought. From five consecutive nights out, free Uber rides (to rest my always driving/road-tripping soul; thank you friend), complimentary meals, drinks and countless conversations and moments shared, I’m feeling incredibly grateful for all you who have shared a message, moment or heart-to-heart with me. A simple smile on my face or the value of your time was the biggest gift I could’ve ever asked for as I welcomed 25.
Yes, this is a very rocky moment in my life. Lots of things are brewing and uncertain and I haven’t quite found my stride (they say it takes two years to fully get comfortable in a new city, when I’ve only hit half a year). I could have chosen the easier, comfortable life of staying home and living blissfully in the Bay Area, being looked after, cared for and playing as much music as I pleased, I always knew there was something more for me calling out to me back in my college grounds. As January was a month of transition, February a month full of traveling and road-tripping and jet setting, March has been full of regaining control and momentum to establish new routines for myself.
As I spent my birthweekend five days and nights out in a row “on tour” driving from city to city, event to event, brunch to lunch to event to a bar or my bed, I realized one thing: true, honest connections and friendships are what I crave the most. For someone like me — an old soul and dreamer who feels so deeply and strongly and strives to connect with the people and places who make me feel most like me, at home, in my element and most like myself — finding those connections and people mean everything.
I may be a little hard on myself (but that may be because I’m a little overly ambitious), and I may crave to feel cared for and looked after and thought about, I realized that at the end of the day (and at the end of my birthnight during a very low moment), I realized that that feeling all starts with me. As someone so selfless, sensitive and who oftentimes puts others before herself (trademark Pisces), I need to go back to giving the love I so freely give to others back to myself.
“You were that girl that everyone liked in college. Everyone liked you at one point, and it was because you were just doing you. There still is something so different about you.”
A big part of growing up, I’ve found, is trying to care less and trying to care more about what you’re contributing to those around you. It’s about looking outwards a little more without sacrificing yourself at the same time.
What turned into me not knowing how I’d spend my birthday turned into me recognizing and realizing the ones who care. I might as well live my most authentic life, do the things I love, continue to work and travel and just do things, as I believe the rest will come…
Here’s a quick one-minute look back at my impromptu kickoff to 25, featuring “Party Girl” by *Groovy workshop. feat. SHōTA LōDI (because not only have I been loving SHōTA LōDI and believing in his music — check out my exclusive interview here — those lyrics are everything).
My life took a complete 360 just nine months ago when I left my small town dreams and days of playing music day in and day out at my humble home in the Bay, for a life of endless drives in my car and searching for the people, things and feelings that would make me feel more at home in SoCal… It’s been a crazy wild and uncomfortable ride, but I know I’m doing alright with you all here.
With love and honesty,