When Birthdays and Refrigerator Magnets Collide

I woke up this morning feeling emotional. My stomach hurt. There was cat puke on the floor. My fiance is away at a conference. What a birthday.

When I realized the key to our mailbox was with him in Utah, I decided to take a pair of tongs out to our mailbox and fish out the envelopes with my arm rammed into the metal box. A pair of neighbors walked by when I was in the middle of this charade. “Don’t mind me. I’m just desperate for a card that will make me feel less pathetic.”

There were cards thank goodness and not just junkmail. Some wonderful ones from family and friends. One from my parents. One from my aunt and uncle. One from my niece and nephew adorned with all sorts of stickers and featuring a cartoonish car on the front. They picked it out themselves, my sister-in-law explained on the inside. And of course while the card made me chuckle as I opened it with my scratched up, mailbox plundering hands, it also made me miss my family desperately.

Then I opened a small package from my dear friend Chloe. Inside was one of Chloe’s sweetly penned notes and a lovely necklace she found for me at the beach. And also two magnets Chloe made herself using road atlas maps. One for Bryan-College Station and one for Nashville.

The truth is, now I know why I’m feeling so emotionally fraught today. This is a momentous age for me. The age where I get married. The age where life changes from here forth.

Chloe’s magnets got me thinking about where I’m from, where I’ve been, and how the places and people along the way have shaped me. Three years ago, when I drove the 800 miles from Nashville to Bryan, I thought a piece of me had died. But in the last three years, I’ve only just discovered newer parts of who I am. The one-inch space between the magnets on my fridge is spatially incorrect, yes, but the two locations depicted on them are very closely connected in my heart. Forever etched in me are the memories there, the people who made my experiences there complete, and the discoveries I made about myself along the way.

Who knew that two tiny refrigerator magnets could be so symbolic?

So the truth is it’s a great birthday already. I have so many amazing people in my life and am so very, very blessed. And I know for a fact that 27 will be a very, very good year.