Y'all. It's Taylor Swift's birthday today, and she's two years younger than me.
And she's built an empire.
I, ummmmm, well... I own a car, so there's that.
Of course, that's mostly a joke, but I do sometimes envy people the things they have that I don't, so it's nice to remind myself that I wouldn't really want to be in T-Swift's shoes.
Remember when I decided I just wanted to disappear for a little while and live life beyond a screen, with real people? Yeah, I kinda doubt there's much in Taylor's life that she can just cancel in a flash and run away to spend time with friends. I mean, maybe, but I highly doubt it...
I, on the other hand, have that chance more often than not, and that time showed me I should take advantage of it more often than I do.
I visited my dear friend Kae, who is just a fantastic hostess, among many other things. I love to pop in on her from time to time, and just be a part of her life - we don't make big plans for our time together. She just has a peaceful, quiet, intentional way of life that I, in all my rushing, overly-social, never-take-a-breath, unpredictable intensity, need to soak up every once in a while.
I mean, the first night I was there, we finished dinner, and sat around talking for a minute, then, when I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, I glanced over at the tabletop and realized it was a perfect still-life:
Kae and her husband James have a little baby girl, Rose, and they like to carefully preserve and cultivate "Adult" things in their life after she's in bed by lighting candles and having long conversations over dinner. They've done a good job of that from what I saw.
One night, Kae and I had a little tea party and read together - it was such a perfect re-set time and a reminder that this quiet little life is exactly where I want to be.
And one night, we made homemade pasta, because if we don't cook together at least once a visit, something has gone terribly wrong.
It's our happy place. Can't you tell?
One of my favorite moments of the whole trip, though, was one afternoon when Kae was washing dishes and I was in the living room (probably having just finished my 14,973,587th reading of Rose's favorite "Mary Had a Little Lamb" finger puppet book) and Rose was just floating back and forth between us - she went into the kitchen with Kae, and Kae began singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to her in Chinese.
Just a normal moment in their day, but so incredibly poignant for me.
Yeah, there's something about music in languages other than English that gets me every time, but this was different.
When Kae and I first met, neither of us would ever have imagined we would be in that moment right then. But somehow it was exactly right - exactly the way things were supposed to be from the very beginning.
I don't think either of us would trade to be where we pictured ourselves 7 years ago.
1 year ago