Thirty One

Last modified on April 7th, 2008

I’m sitting in a hotel room, in Calgary, lying in bed in my boxers, eating some nachos that were delivered via room service. That, people, is how I rang in my 31st birthday tonight. There were lots of parties going on in Calgary, but truth is I just wanted to relax, watch some TV, and reflect on another year.

I actually had the perfect photo to put up here for this entry. It was a shot of me with a bunch of other photographers at the Junos, all hanging out with Russell Peters after the awards. I thought it would be a fun shot, and would sort of sum up this weekend for me in a photo. But when I approached the photographer who took it and asked for a copy, he turned me down.

I’d be lying if I said that event didn’t bum me out a bit, because it did. But ultimately it just made me thankful that I am the person I am, and that the world I normally live in doesn’t contain any people like that.

But in terms of birthdays, it’s funny how fast time flies. Some days I wake up, and for a brief moment, think that I’m somewhere else. Some other time, some other place. Like when a summer breeze takes you back to a bike ride as a kid, or the sound of the surf to the thoughts of an old vacation. A creaking floorboard that reminds you of footsteps that once walked there. The traffic lights streaking across the room at night, like memories of dancing candlelights.

I never really knew my great grandmother. Because my family is Ukrainian, and our grandma is known as Baba, everyone got used to calling my great grandmother “Baba Grandma”, which I guess the adults figured would confuse us kids less. Before she died, years ago, she had a conversation with my dad, one that he still talks about today. She told him that every day she woke up and felt like she was a 16 year old girl again, a girl that loved to play with dolls, run through the fields, and play outside with her friends. It was only her reflection in the mirror that gave her age away.

I have so much to be thankful for. I have great friends, loving family, and the person I’ve become in my 31 years is someone that I’m proud of. While I’m not perfect, I do the best with what I have, I admit when I make mistakes, and I try to move two steps forward for every one I fall back. And despite the bumps in the road, especially over the last year and a half, I really have been blessed with good fortune my whole life. I mean, here I am, a computer dork, at the Juno awards taking photographs. It’s a rare opportunity, and I’m really thankful that good forture has blown in my direction more often than not in my life.

The next year will be different that the last two. It will be a year without surgeries and without hospitals. It will be the year where I move past the ugliness of the past and restart the engine that stalled a few years ago. And in that regard, I’m really looking forward to it. Part of me feels like it’s a chance to start over again, to put things right that somehow went wrong, to make new friends, and to have a little fun along the way.

I have a plane to catch in the morning, so I’ll leave it as that. But I just want to thank all my friends and my family for being there for me during the last thirty one years.

Also, as an added birthday present, Google is featuring the last plugin I wrote, WordPress Without Borders, over on their coding blog. It will end up over at BraveNewCode in the near future.