September 1st is a very special day.
Isn't it just a beautiful phrase? "September the First..." --even the ring of it has a kind of musk. It is a beautiful date. And day.
But reader, September the 1st is my Father's birthday. And oh, how it sits there on the calendar, looming over the autumn; a date more laden with disquiet than even the anniversary of his death. Whoever knows why? The human psyche is one complex labyrinth...
On certain milestones I've marked the occasion with very special friends. On others, the day comes and goes with a peaceful acceptance of the unavoidable heavy-heartedness.
It ebbs and flows. Like everything.
But MAN: I hate birthdays.
Well, no. That's not true.
I don't hate birthdays.
I love birthdays.
There is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than reminding people how glad I am that they were born.
I hate my birthday.
We know this. (Remember the Nietzsche-an spiral of 24? The way I tried to get a grip at 27? The way I kiiiiinda got that grip at 29?)
It's a passage-of-time thing. (I think it is also why I don't like New Year's Eve, and cut flowers for opening night...I dunno...)
I'm working on it.
I admit I have a tendency to hermit myself in my utterly cozy "Winter Palace" (aka my apartment). I'm a creature who requires a great deal of time spent alone to process life; to defragment my hard drive, if you will. To sort through my emotional output, thoughts, ideas, imaginative musings, etc. And even beyond that: I actually enjoy my own company. For example: I had a truly invigorating weekend spent entirely alone two weeks ago--I
literally cancelled all my plans (of which there can often be too many)
and indulged myself in "The Cave."
Interestingly (though perhaps not at all surprisingly), all of my closest friends seem to truly understand this process, and are rarely annoyed with
what some might consider being "out of touch..." I suppose that is how
you know you've found your true friends. They accept you for who you
"The Cave" is a part of my process. As I am growing, I'm learning to accept it as such and not scold myself for being "anti-social." I am social--when I give you party OH: I give you party. Socializing is just something I do on my own terms! This is part of accepting myself as I am.
But it is a delicate balance:
one must be ever-vigilant to monitor where "meeting your needs for solitude" ends,
and "HIDING" begins.
Again: I'm working on it.
...Meanwhile, back on earth...
With the incredible insistence of my mother
(as well as an onslaught of friends), to *somehow* celebrate the milestone
of my 30th birthday, I contemplated some sort of gathering.
Drinks in Manhattan?
A quiet gathering of special people at a restaurant? (Except the majority of my special people don't live in NYC)
A tiny bash at the Winter Palace? (I can throw a serious dinner party)
So what is one to do?
Well, there is the option of 'Ignoring It' (I usually adore that option) — But no.
Not this time.
Recently I have made a series of incredibly exciting "outside-the-box" choices.
I've been reaching out when I feel vulnerable (and not, as I have been known to do: after I have felt vulnerable with a full, enlightened and palatable book report on "How I handled my vulnerability all on my own Volume 3,937")
I've been trying new things.
I've been taking myself out on dates.
I've been spontaneously getting together with my friends regardless of my mood.
I've been taking calculated risks.
Calling people out of the blue.
Making honest bids for connection.
It has been extraordinarily exhilarating.
...So... wanna know what I decided to do?
I decided to throw a spontaneous gathering at my house over Labor Day weekend (because not all of us were going to be busy up at the Lake House). Spontaneous cocktails at The Winter Palace! A bazillion people came. From every corner of my life. It was the largest soirée I have ever thrown.
The emphasis was on opening my home, and subsequently, my heart, to friends.
To gathering together with interesting people over the Holiday Weekend.
To allowing a personal milestone to be marked on my own terms.
All on my Dad's birthday—this glorious September The First.
What better way to spend the day?
By opening up, and raising a glass with friends old and new.
I think Dad would have more than approved.
Cheers. To all.