I’ve been a quiet fan of the app Buddhify for years. Although I’ve dabbled once or twice in the rest of their myriad meditations, the one I use almost every time I open the app is a walking meditation called ‘Connected’. It consists of saying in your head to everyone you see as you walk down the street, “Have a wonderful day. I hope you are happy.”

It’s so simple, but it has an almost immediate and very powerful soothing effect on my soul.

I struggle a lot with a desperate, aching loneliness. It’s something that I’ve fought tooth and nail against, and still seem to deal with at the end of every day, in every silent moment, at every turn. It’s something that I long thought I could, or should be able to, change. But I have realized that my options for responding to it are a) hate myself for being an extremely boring person incapable of making friends, or b) accept the fact that some people are just constantly alone. 

My father, for example, doesn’t have a Sex and the City-like gaggle of friends – in fact, outside of my mother and her friends, I’m not sure he ever spends time with anyone else. My mother and sister on the other hand are both extremely likeable people that seem to very easily get close to others, should they choose to do so. We all have different strengths in life – and I think this is one such widely varying characteristic. 

… And this new zen-like attitude is a nice way to transition into my next point. As I was discussing aging and growing up with one of my birthday-partners this week, we decided that perhaps “becoming a grown up” involves being able to have the realization that no matter what you are going through, it could always be worse. A small but significant slide away from the teenage-like belief that whatever happens to one is the worst thing that has happened to anyone, ever. It’s not exactly acceptance, but it’s something like acquiescence. 

And my actual point is that it was my birthday this week and I felt the need to make a rather odd and rambling birthday post. I guess I should make my usual achievements round-up.

While I was 24, I:

/ Graduated
/ Got the job that I wanted
/ Progressed enough at my job to have something resembling the beginning of a career
/ Finally learned to dance salsa
( +bonus / Quitting smoking feels a little bit more real this time around?)

Here’s to being over the hill.



About Varia

Traveler, writer.
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