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The Golden Birthday

March 26, 2013

Today is my golden birthday.

26 on the 26th.

I’ve never enjoyed my birthday. Even as a little kid I would get stressed out and ask my parents to cancel my birthday party. (They never did.)

I think part of this has to do with my fear of life slipping past me, which, from conversations with friends, is a fairly normal thing to feel. But that’s something you can combat: eat well, work out, take vitamins, plan trips, splurge every now and then, read trashy books for fun, do things that bring you joy.

In an effort to combat my birthday depression, the past few years my mom and I planned trips during the week of my birthday. It was something I could look forward to—instead of dreading my birthday and thinking too much about the passage of time and having panic attacks, I made packing lists and happily got on a plane to fly to wherever I was meeting my mom.

But now my mom isn’t here.

It’s my first birthday without her.

It’s hard in a way I didn’t know existed.

But my mom wouldn’t want me to spend my birthday being a sad sack who locks herself in the bathroom all day (which is totally my inclination) or who whinges on her blog about how much she hates her birthday.

So instead of focusing on all of the terrifying ways my life changed while I was 25, I’ll share the good stuff.

Birthday 25

My 25th Birthday

Fancy new job.

Painting controversial teal stripes on a wall in my apartment.

Meeting up with bookish ladies during BEA.

Seeing a giraffe in the road.

Riding this crazy-ass rollercoaster.

Going to weddings.

Dancing at weddings

Interviewing Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Caroline Skinner.

Meeting Chris Hardwick at the Nerdist Live taping from NYCC.

Getting my mom and sister super into Doctor Who, and then buying us all Who villain shirts and wearing them to Silver Dollar City.

Going to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars event at Carnegie Hall, and then seeing Neil Gaiman. Maybe I cried.

Visiting my friend Courtney in Aspen.



Going to Thailand.

Feeding elephants in Thailand.

Feeding elephants in Thailand.

Drinking in Thailand.

Going to Singapore and taking ridiculous pictures in the ocean.

Going to Singapore and taking ridiculous pictures in the ocean.


On top of Marina Bay Sands.

In many ways, 25 was a terrifying, trying, terrible year. But it was also a year of growth. Not physically—unfortunately I’m still the size of a small 6th grader—but I feel different than I did a year ago. More settled, more comfortable, a smidge more confident. More like … me.

Here’s hoping 26 doesn’t disappoint.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2013 9:41 PM

    BETHANY. I had NO IDEA you lost your mom in the past year. I’m so sorry to hear that but I also just feel kind of like a bad friend for not knowing. But, that said, I just want to tell you how amazing I think you are, for keeping up on everything in your life so spectacularly, for being committed and reliable and just so … EXCELLENT at things, AND for having such an amazing year in the midst of something so difficult. You finished a book, wrote a ton of blog posts, travelled the world … in your shoes, I don’t think I could do even one of those things, much less all of them. You are my hero. And happy birthday.

  2. Michelle Andreani permalink
    March 26, 2013 12:33 PM

    1) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! And your golden birthday, at that. Wishing you all the happiness you can get your hands on this year. ❤

    2) Tattoo! I love it!

    3) I feel pretty much exactly how you do about birthdays (and I love your tradition of going away with your mom — I'm sure it made for the most special of birthdays). But I think your perspective on this past year is lovely.

    4) That photo of you, your mom, and your sister in Dr. Who shirts is The Cutest!


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