Born on the Fourth of July

7 Jul

madagascar lemursOkay, I wasn’t really.  I was actually born on the 3rd of July.  But (Mom, correct me if I’m wrong) the story goes that my due date was July 4th and the doctor didn’t want to do a c-section on the holiday, so my mom had the option of picking the 3rd or the 5th.  How special!  I’m glad she chose the 3rd, though, because otherwise it wouldn’t be so crazy that my license plate has the numbers 7 3 84 in it.  Woah.

Anyway, I turned 25 on Friday, and one thing I can say about my 25 years on this earth: I finally got smart about parties.  See, I love throwing parties.  The more the merrier.  I hosted a couple of epic parties back in college (epic being a relative term when you go to a Bible college where everyone’s signed contracts that they won’t touch alcohol).  The best was at the end of my senior year, when I threw a Peter Pan themed party – fairies, lost boys, pirates, and Indians everywhere.  I was Tiger Lily and got a wicked spray tan.  A bunch of us ended up dancing in the backyard like the lemurs in Madagascar.  Sweet.

Back to my party anxiety.  The during is usually great.  But my freak outs always happen in the moments before, when I’m waiting for the first guests to arrive and wondering if anyone will even show, if anyone at all in the world actually loves me.  Birthdays are the worst, because so many people go out of town for the Fourth, so my guest list is usually pitifully small.  So this year, I wised up.  I decided that a) I didn’t want to worry about who loves me and who doesn’t on my 25th birthday, fully aware that I might already be dealing with monstrous emotions of a quarter-life crisis; and b) I didn’t want a diminished guest list due to the Fourth and also about half of my friends leaving for other countries the first week of July.

So what did I do?  I had two parties, silly!  The Saturday before my birthday I had a bunch of friends meet me at my new (to me) apartment in Pasadena where we had some drinks and some appetizers before heading out to The Cat and Fiddle in Hollywood.  Inside, the Cat was pretty dead, but their courtyard was hopping.  Lots of ivy and twinkle lights and wrought iron made it a good place to chill, although not worth the traffic we had to fight to get there!  Good times with fun friends.

Then on Friday, my actual birthday, I had a little barbeque with just my family and my “other family”, the Rays.  It was so fun because I was totally relaxed.  I didn’t have to worry about how I looked or who came or how much food we had.  It was so good to spend quality time with people I love and who love me.  So, it’s good to know that while I am older, I’m a bit wiser too.

Now on to the juicy stuff…I know you’re dying to ask if I am going through a quarter-life crisis.  As dumb as that sounds…I kind of am.  I think.  I don’t know.  I do know that I’ve been having a lot of feelings lately – such strong emotions that I don’t know how to deal with so I tend to just try to shut them off or drown them out.  Healthy, right?  Oh, and every time I see a baby now, my womb hurts.  Hee.  Totally kidding about that one.  Although, I am way more aware now of my utter singleness.  I never thought I would be 25 and not even dating anyone.  I know that there’s people reading this thinking, “Why, she’s just a baby!” and others thinking, “Yeesh, 25?  She should join eHarmony or something.”  I remember being 20 and seeing 25 year old friends get married, thinking that they found love “later in life.”  Oh ho, how foolish I was.

To round out these ramblings I thought I would share a quote I read on Greg Boyd’s blog that goes along with the Fourth of July theme and made me think:

Greg Boyd, on Steven Russell’s Overcoming Evil

He [Russell] notes that empires rise and fall with remarkable speed, even those such as Assyria and Babylon who, at the height of their power, seemed utterly invincible. Babylon’s mighty reign lasted less than a century, as did the empire of modern day communist Russia. We Americans are now the reigning empire, and, as with all previous empires, we trust in our power and wealth to keep us secure. (In fact, as with all previous empires, we interpret our power and wealth as a blessing from God/the gods). We must remember that this has been the arrogant mindset of all empires just prior to their falls from power.

In this light, Russell concludes, “Who imagined the fall of the Soviet Union would come a short seven decades after its founding and rapid rise in power? And who among us knows what God has in store for our nation or any other? But His purpose is good, and if we choose to become part of His plan, even our deaths will be victorious” (72-73).

Wise words. I encourage you to put no trust in the power and wealth of America (or whatever country you happen to live in). The only real security is in Yaweh and living his way, as revealed in Jesus Christ.

Even if it means you die.

Okay, maybe not terribly cheery or patriotic, but these are wise words.  Often in Europe I thought about what it would be like to be one of those smaller, albeit developed and thriving, countries.  Prior to the election, Norwegians would eagerly ask my opinion on the race, declaring that “America’s president is our president.”  How crazy will it be when America is in that position with another nation overshadowing her?

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2 Responses to “Born on the Fourth of July”

  1. Jessica Hamlin July 7, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Oh, Joy. We are so alike in some ways, it’s crazy. I understand the party anxiety and I LOVE throwing parties, though since I’ve met this humongous group it hasn’t really been possible in my apartment, especially since dancing is my main requirement at any party. I hope this year you felt and knew you are loved, despite any number on a guest list. 🙂

    The quarter-life crisis thing is real. I was JUST freaking out today about soon turning 25+1, which I feel is 100 in LA years, especially for women. When I see that I am not in a successful career or romantic relationship it does feel like a let down from the expectations I’ve always had about what I’d be doing at this age. It wasn’t anything too huge or lofty, but not having a stable job or even dating, like you said, makes me wonder what the hell is up. Ultimately, God is supposed to satisfy us all. But that makes me wonder why romantic relationships even exist sometimes, because at the current moment they seem like torture and each facebook announcement of someone’s engagement, wedding or day with their “hubby” is salt in the wound. It gets exhausting being happy for everyone else all the time. As you can tell, I’ve had an emo day and the only party I feel like throwing at this moment is a pity party. Grrr. :/

    However, if you do ever want to have a party for two that includes a gym class, scrumptious meal, fun movie and unearthing those shut off/drowned out feelings, I am so up for it. 🙂

    Like

    • netanya July 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

      Thanks for the support, Jessica! Also, I would love to do any of those things with you. I am getting a 24 hour membership soon, and then it would be so fun to take a class and get dinner afterward! See you soon. 🙂

      Like

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