Twenty-Nine. I am taking myself to bed on the precipice, but you will technically arrive sometime around four in the morning. Knowing my inevitable battle with sleeplessness I’ll still be awake as you come to pass. I know, I’m still quite the “Spring Chicken”, but for the first time, I feel kind of old, and you’re honestly the first that has been unwelcome.
The journey of my 29th revolution around the sun, quite frankly, sucked. Good riddance, and see you on the flip-side, twenty-eight. I'm done with how you culminated in a black hole of mind numbing despair. But I survived. I’m not interested in commemorating the year that was, except for a shining light in my life the past three months, you were utterly terrible. So instead, today I am looking forward to a much better year and my next 970 million kilometres in the Sun's orbit. For the most part I believe that we create our own happiness, control our own fates and so forth, and that cheery optimism begets glowing positivity. So I am looking forward with a smile on my face. I also don’t think it hurts to ask for what I want.
So, to my suddenly impending thirtieth year, there are four big things I want more of.
I want more smiles, the real kind, where I end up smiling so much that my teeth are on display, and my cheeks get squishy and friends call me “stapleface” and after a few hours I realise I’ve been indescribably happy because my face hurts! The smiles in only the photographs or Skype calls that connect some of us and the outline of that curve that needs to be burnt forever into my brain. Little people smiles as I narrate them further into the world of Harry Potter, lit up faces over pancakes and french toast, and the biggest grins as you showcase your skills in imaginary play and catch all of the rarest Pokémon in our backyard. Real, candid memory making moments that are full of the happiest kind of smiles.
I want more fun. I want to be an adult and be me without the constraints of roles and their predetermined expectations. I want friends, dinners, movies, dancing, and live music. I want curled up on the couch on the weekend reading page after page of poems or books, or immersion otherwise in television and movies and losing myself in a world that has been constructed by someone talented enough to have me feel I am living a small part within their stories. I also want music and dancing, playgrounds and beaches, slides and swimming, Chess and Monopoly, Lego and Shopkins, car races and tea parties, comics and Disney, and rolling around in tickle fights on the lounge floor. I want more mess (am I really saying that?) and floury faces with sticky hands from kitchen baking messes and spoon licking indulgences.
I want more laughter, not just a giggle or a chuckle here or there, but laughter that makes me forget to breathe and then snort in the aftermath while I catch my breath, and that makes my tummy hurt for days. Giggles I can catch faintly after a nervous admission when you talk. The chuckles from family as my daughter tells jokes like only a little person can. Great big belly laughs as we all smash the buttons on Hungry Hungry Hippos and watch little balls fly everywhere and exclamations of how we’re really all winners because we’re laughing so hard from all the fun. Rinse and repeat with the button smashing on Super Smash Bros. or everyone falling off into space on Rainbow Road, because none of us have a clue what we are doing.
I want more love. Little people snuggles before breakfast. The cutest interruptions to ask for a hug or a kiss. The way we all help each other, the way we talk and share with one another and how we teach and encourage each other in our own ways to grow every day. A jar full of goodness, happiness and moment of smiles and laughter. Every small moment imprinted the way it should be for a long time to come. I want thoughtfulness. Oh I want more LOVE. One of the few perks twenty-eight has had to offer, please hang around.
So twenty-nine. Four things: more smiles, fun, laughter and love. This is my wish. Though, if you can manage it, I also wouldn't mind some more sleep. Anything beyond this will eventually fall into place. I’ll be back to reassess in a year, hope we can manage it, my new friend.