The Bridget Jones Birthday Party of my Dreams

5 Nov

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Invitations via Tiny Prints

I woke up the morning after my birthday party and tiptoed into the kitchen.  My dirty feet stepped on something sticky.  The gourmet lemonade!

My record player sat in the corner with a fresh Barbara Streisand album staring up at me.  Glasses topped with Bridget Jones quotes and the leftovers of dirty Diet Coke littered the space.  A chocolate pound cake with pink roses balanced on the table.

So many pink roses.  So many Bridget Jones quotes!

Remnants of my birthday party.

I spent some time organizing the room, trying (and failing) to take a few pictures.  I wanted to capture how beautiful the evening was, I wanted to capture the details.

The blue macaroni and cheese.  The turkey curry buffet.  The handwritten signs for it all.

I choose Diet Coke and Chaka Khan

I was wearing a carpet

Just as you are

If you ever need a Bridget Jones birthday party thrown, please see Hilary Miller.  And Luke.  He makes a top notch top of the morning turkey curry and his blue macaroni and cheese with bacon crumble cannot be beat.  Can’t, I tell you!

My 27th birthday party was exactly what I hoped it would be.

It was small and intimate, I’m not one for the big parties or groups of people, as we know.  We played my favorite music and drank my favorite drinks and I was surrounded by candles and my favorite people.  We talked about our years and growing up and how many, if any, children we all want to have.

27 feels right on the cusp of grown up.  I’ve passed my early twenties now, I’m full in the mid-(to late?)-20s armed with whatever lessons I’ve gleaned.  Armed with more kindness, more direction.

Certainly armed with more love.

26 was good to me.

Two years ago when I first moved to LA and introduced myself, I usually said I was a social worker just returned from London.  It was a true statement, of course, but also summed me up.  Social work and London were the most important things in my life at that point.

Now when someone asks me to describe myself I say I’m a writer.

Hilary found an old blog post of mine, one where I said I wanted to be a writer, but I was embarrassed to admit it.  I remember that girl, that nervous feeling.

At 26 I went from embarrassed-to-admit-it to full-fledged writer.

I had the best college year of my life, a beautiful two semesters of friend lunches and writing groups and long days trapped away in a study room.  The college year I always wanted to have.

I went to a writer’s conference, I finished and put away my first book. I started my second book.

I wrote the best pilot I’ve ever written, perhaps the best I ever will write, full of angst and British candies and the most perfect teen boy to walk the earth since Pacey Witter himself.

I took up watercolor painting and got a real job and quit the real job just three months later.

I spent 10 days on Cape Cod.

I moved back to Malibu.

I chipped my tooth in stress teeth grinding twice.

I became part of the Self Magazine blogging campaign.

I got paid for my writing.

I fell in love.

I introduced that love to my family.

I bought the comfiest sweater, one I’m sure will last well into my 80s.

I never got to wear it.

I became more patient with myself.  That’s perhaps the greatest lesson I’m learning as I grow up, patience.

Well patience and valuing kindness.  Seeing niceness as a strength, not a default of the less interesting.  But that’s another story.

The greatest lesson of 26 is patience.

I would like to be a bestselling author right now.  I would like my own fabulous studio apartment and zero student loan debt and something for that nagging thing in the back of my chest that takes my breath away.  I think it’s called anxiety.

I would like something for the anxiety that I’m not good enough and never will be and the life of my dreams is just that—a dream.

But I’m learning patience.  I’m learning that things take time and I have to celebrate the smallest of successes and that maybe I’ve even been counting the wrong things as successes all along.

Patience.

And love.

And kindness.

All the lessons of 26.

My birthday party culminated in a reading of the Bridget Jones script, parts carefully assigned according to acting abilities/interests/romantic relations to my life.  We laughed and tried on British accents, and Hilary and her enthusiasm won just about everything.

(I like to think my reenactment of the introduction to Kafka’s Motorbike was at least Golden Globe worthy, though.)

The night went on until eyes drooped and conversations wandered and my blue sequin dress started to scratch.  The Malibu stars twinkled as we said our goodbyes and I headed into the kitchen for one last dirty Diet Coke.

27.

You started off strong.

Let’s do this thing.

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4 Responses to “The Bridget Jones Birthday Party of my Dreams”

  1. Lea Binta November 6, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    My 26th birthday is just over a month away, and I appreciate all of this wisdom – to know that the greatest lesson of 26 is patience. Because honestly, that applies to me and my life too.

    In other news, now I want to throw a Bridget Jones birthday party!

    I really enjoy reading your blog – your bravery to stand by who you are is an inspiration.

    // Lea Binta

    • jillianlorraine November 7, 2014 at 8:45 am #

      Thank you! And always more Bridget. Always.

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