Twenty Seven

Friday, March 29, 2024

Birthdays for me, in recent years, are usually spent solo. 

If I'm not occupied at work or in school, I'd make the conscious decision to keep it free, and enjoy a day with my own company. It usually takes the form of plopping myself down at a quaint little cafe in a less busy part of town and I’ll spend the hours reflecting about the past year, and people watching. 

I find peace in solitude, and have never been self-conscious about how others would perceive me when I do things in public solo. Considering how many people struggle with being alone–or rather, being seen alone–I've definitely tried to reason why I do feel so comfortable, especially since I grew up surrounded by friends. It wasn't as though I had lots of practice. 

And perhaps it's exactly that. At risk of sounding conceited, I've been blessed with pretty effortlessly strong relationships and friendships since young, so this part of my life has never been a source of insecurity. It’s made me appreciate both spending time with friends, and on my own, which takes the pressure off constantly having to find company and makes every moment of life worth looking forward to. 

So despite choosing to keep my actual birth date for myself, my February weekends would usually see my dearest friends and loved ones taking time out to make me feel loved, as though me turning a year older was truly something momentous for them. I'm so lucky.

Last month, I turned 27. And like all the other years, I spent it solo. 

The difference this time round? Even if I would've liked company, I probably wouldn't have gotten it. Just ten days before my 27th birthday, I flew halfway across the world to start a new job in a city I hadn't even visited prior. With three luggages in tow filled with tropical summer clothes that wouldn't cut it in my new four-seasons climate, I knew this was something I needed to do. Because if not now, when? 

But when you leave behind the life and people you've been so familiar with for the past 27 years, the greatest comfort is knowing that they'll be there for you if you do decide it's all too much. 

And so this year, despite spending my birthday truly alone–at least physically–it was still one full of gratitude, the fullest that it's ever been, I reckon. Love was shown towards me in the most creative of ways, and I'm just so grateful to be given the opportunity to embark on a completely new adventure, and especially for everything that had to fall in place to make it all happen. 

The relocation probably warrants its own post, so here's how I spent my birthday weekend in ten photos. 

Table for one at Sussey Street. 

Warmed myself up with a hearty pumpkin soup.

Coconut passion – anything with coconut & egg white, I'm down. 

Dry aged fillet of beef, but the little hazelnut toast at the side stole the show with its rich, creamy, nutty flavour. 

The perfect blue sky weather. 

The National Gallery of Ireland was a gem.

Hi there, fellow solo adventurer.


Even more majestic.

Art imitates life. 

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