What a contrast from last year! Celebrating my 28th birthday was pretty quiet. I had been in Melbourne for just over a month and the only people I knew were my friends Mitch and Marjolein that I was living with. I remember thinking “I’ll take myself out for a nice lunch” and found this café in the city. After taking public transport in the rain (and not bringing an umbrella) I got to the café to find that it was closed on Mondays (which is not uncommon for businesses in Melbourne). Then I went to one of the malls and ate two cupcakes because I was sad. LOL! But Mitch did take me out for dinner later that night so it still was a good day overall.
Fast-forward a year later and I had two parties! I had a BBQ and a small dinner with the ladies on my actual birthday. It was breezy on the day of the BBQ but it was still 30 degrees. Melbourne weather can be unpredictable so I was super thankful that the weather held out.I was so happy with the turnout. There was about 30 people there and it was a great mix of people including work colleagues , neighbours, housemates, my church family and people that I just met randomly over the last year. I had so much fun and I forgot to take pictures. LOL! I do have a few though but it was so humbling to have so many people I consider friends show up.
On my actual birthday I didn’t do anything during the day. I talked to family and friends from Canada and just had a really chilled out day. I had a birthday dinner planned at A25 Pizzeria with 12 of my favourites and it was great!
Lots of laughs, good food and the red velvet cake was so yummy! I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a picture of a delicious cake and saw that the company was based in Melbourne and it was walking distance from the restaurant we were eating at. This was only four days before the dinner but I sent a message anyway to see if I could be fit in on short notice. Proof is in the Pudding took such good care of me and made me the most scrumptious cake! The pictures don’t do it justice but it was amazing!!!
So now I’m 29. I look like I’m 20 so it hasn’t really sunk in. LOL! I think of all the dreams and goals I wanted to achieve by 30 and well I haven’t achieved the “societal milestones”. I don’t own a house or a car, I don’t have any children or a partner, I don’t have a career job and I don’t have money in the bank. I’m the most unsuccessful person!! LOL!
It’s hard sometimes not get stuck in that mindset. When you have an eternal mindset those things matter but they don’t define you.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)
Another thing I’ve learned is that comparison is the thief of joy. You can’t be thankful or grateful for your life when you’re busy looking at everyone else’s and wondering why you don’t have this or that. I may not have all those things but I’ve had experiences and adventures that I would not have had if my sole focus was to climb the corporate ladder or have something to show off to my peers.
Every time I reflect on the last year, I know without a doubt I am supposed to be here. It’s not what I anticipated and it’s not “successful” in the world’s eyes but I’m slowing pulling away from the opinion of people and really focusing on what God thinks about me. He likes me, he loves me and he’s pleased with me. This has been a journey for me of understanding what it means to be a Christ-follower which is beyond going to church on Sunday. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s about laying down your life for the one who did it first. That is more freeing than anything. It’s EXTREMELY hard at times but God continues to prove He is faithful over and over and I get to tell people about how amazing He is!
I’m still navigating through the Melbourne life and enjoying every minute of it. Even with all the uncertainty and challenges, my 28th year was one of the best!