It’s the Moment…

Birthday gift…Between when the bow makes it last stroke and the fiddle player lets his instrument fall to one side and the bow, his other.

…When the last soprano notes fades from the mandolin’s body and the player’s eyes stay closed until the applause dies down.

…You find your foot tapping, though you can’t remember making it start and you think briefly, “Will I stop it?” (but you don’t)

…When you realize the person in front of you said what they said — and laughter, a smile, and words are all fighting for bandwidth.

Unexpected.

Spaces in between. 

Those instances filled with feeling that you couldn’t manufacture for all the planning in the world.

I was lucky enough to have spent the entire weekend filled with moments like these, reminded of the charmed, rich, and emotionally wealthy life I lead. When you wake up one day and know that you must be living right to find yourself surrounded by people who continue to offer you these moments — you realize a few things:

  • What’s worth having can’t be bought.
  • The price of admission to such a life is only your heart, your friendship, and then acknowledging those two things in others.
  • That when you let people who don’t fit fall by the wayside and into someone else’s life, you make room for the people who will and can change everyone’s life.

And though this is my first post written as a woman on the North Side of 30, I can’t think of a better place to tell you that YOU are my birthday gift. The life you’ve allowed me to live for the past 5 years since I started moving my thoughts on the digital page has been phenomenal and more than I could have ever imagined.

YOU are the reason I do this. And I never forget that you’re the reason I can continue to do it.

I thank you for bringing your friends. For sharing each post you share. For the comments. The “likes.”  The laughter. The random pictures of hedgehogs. Cool links. Powerful stories shared. You are, collectively, an RSS feed of OSSUM and you make my life brighter. You challenge me to be better, to reach higher, and most importantly, be myself. So I have an announcement.

On January 15, there’s something coming. A new look, purpose, and destination (yes, destination) for this site. Inspired by you, built to serve you, and to give the entire RedheadWriting community more of what its been asking for. It’s been a long time coming and is currently in progress…but you’ll see a new daily destination, powered by me and designed to get you from where you are to “Fuck Yeah” by whatever means necessary. I do hope you don’t just love it…I hope you crave it, share it, and come to be even more comfortable there than you’ve been here.

So, I’m just going to leave a video for the only song that could possibly be used to usher in my 40th year. If you haven’t heard it. I know you’ll appreciate it. If you’re at the office, headphones please…or not.

And thank you — for YOU — and for being the best gift a girl could ask for. May you find your moments in between in the coming days and year.

20 comments
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Akasha Rae Stoecklin
Akasha Rae Stoecklin

Dude, I turned 40 in June and I fucking LOVE it! I didn't think it meant anything until a few months after and my anti-b.s. detector, which has always been quite strong, went on full force. I LOVE that my b.s. detector is amping up even more. I can't wait to see what this next decade brings. Bring it on, bitches! (in a good way, of course :-) Happy belated birthday!

Greg Mischio
Greg Mischio

Happy b-day and thanks for the Kid Rock video! Hilarious!

Lynn Sullivan
Lynn Sullivan

Happy, Happy Birthday!!! Can't wait to see what's in store!

Paul Sanderson
Paul Sanderson

What’s worth having certainly can’t be bought. It sounds like you are at a good place in life. Happy Birthday and thanks for your insights.

Rob Christeson
Rob Christeson

Happy Birthday...looking forward to the new year

SL Clark
SL Clark

Thank you for a great laugh today. Happy Birthday from Mr. Fucking Fifty Two!

John Trader
John Trader

Happy birthday Erika! Looking forward to your new digs.

Amy Schmittauer
Amy Schmittauer

Happy birthday, Erika! It's been so fun following along with you here. To many many more years!

Marti_L
Marti_L

Happy birthday, Erika! The other side of 40 is what you make it. I'm pretty sure you will make it awesome. Lots of love and good wishes!

Juan Carlos Vara Perez
Juan Carlos Vara Perez

Happy birthday, Erika. I hope you get to hear it lots and lots of years. Now you got me intrigued about the site change. Watever it is, I'm sure you'll rock it.

Carol
Carol

Glad you rocked it in YOUR way!

Jen Vertanen
Jen Vertanen

Saw Mr. Rock play this live recently and it was fucking hilarious!!!!! (<==42 here) Happy Birthday, Erika!

Jodi Henderson
Jodi Henderson

As we say in my family, Happy Freaking Birthday! I always enjoy reading your posts and most certainly look forward to the new site. Cheers!

Cindi
Cindi

Happy Birthday Erika! You're so great to read-birthday wishes for you to continue to have, be, do the impactful work you do surrounded by everyone that you hold dear.

PJ Mullen
PJ Mullen

Happy Birthday, looking forward to what's coming next.

Mowracer
Mowracer

I love hedgehogs and your wild and (sometimes) crazy outlook, but do you know what? It's been awesome as I deal with mid life, I'm only a few years away from 40 - and scared - but my life and outlook on life, is better now because of the statements you have made, very touching, and very "though provoking". Happy birthday! (And I love your tattoos)

Rebecca T Dickson
Rebecca T Dickson

Jesus, I fucking love you. xo P.S. Where was this song in October when I turned 40?

Killian
Killian

Welcome to the BETTER side of 40, Erika. Come on in; the water's wonderful.

John Heaney
John Heaney

Welcome to the flip side of 40. The great news is that you have so much more wisdom than you did in your first 40, the downside is that you'll need way more Advil. Not a bad trade-off. Looking forward to Jan 15 when you go all hedgehog, all the time.

ColleenConger
ColleenConger

Wow Erika! First, let me say Happy Birthday and welcome to the wide, wild world of being in your 40's. Secondly, damn! You don't look ANYWHERE near that. Secondly, I'm officially adopting the phrase "That when you let people who don’t fit fall my the wayside and into someone else’s life, you make room for the people who will and can change everyone’s life" as one of my 2013 resolutions. I'm manically tired of being the doormat. Thank God you're blog and books are waging a positive toll on me. Thanks for being a gift to us with your words and your passion. Looking forward to the new look in 2013.