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In Which I Celebrate Turning Twenty Six

April 12, 2012

Yesterday was my twenty-sixth birthday. My just-turned-twenty-five self a year ago, on the edge of a full-blown panic about entering my mid-twenties, could not have foreseen how content and happy this birthday found me. I feel like in the past year I’ve become more grounded and centered, really growing into myself. My life has also become wonderfully rich. Not only have I added Thistle to my day-to-day life, but the prospect of actual international travel, if on a more modest scale than I had originally planned, has made me feel like myself again. I’ve realised that while I have quite limited means, I can still put my money where my mouth is and save up for trips rather than splurge too often at thrift stores! More broadly, I’ve moved towards a kind of rich simplicity; owning fewer objects but loving them more, enjoying experiences as they arrive, and treasuring my day-to-day routines. I am truly, deeply happy.

Of course, reading and book blogging are both large contributors to that happiness! We live in such a wonderful time: we have access to people all around the world, more books than ever before, and a whole world just brimming with knowledge and stories and relationships. It’s magical, and I feel so grateful to be a small part of it.

I cannot wait to see what the next year brings! But I already know it will be full of books and blogging and so many wonderful friendships. Thank you all.

P.S. If you’re looking for a shortcut to happiness, I highly recommend finding an Indian restaurant with unlimited chai refills. ;)

74 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 6:21 pm

    I didn’t realize you’re so close in age to my son. Now I feel really old. Happy birthday to you a day late!

  2. April 12, 2012 6:38 pm

    Happy birthday, Eva.

  3. April 12, 2012 6:41 pm

    Happy belated birthday. So wonderful to hear that you’re finding a place of balance and peace–and unlimited chai!

  4. chrisbookarama permalink
    April 12, 2012 6:54 pm

    Aw, Happy Birthday! What a great, positive post! I hope you have a great day and a great year.

  5. April 12, 2012 7:10 pm

    Happy birthday, Eva! Beautiful photo. I’m so glad to hear that things are so happy for you now. I can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  6. Amy @ My Friend Amy permalink
    April 12, 2012 7:13 pm

    Aw, happy Birthday! you are so cute! :) and i’m so glad you are happy.

  7. April 12, 2012 7:14 pm

    Happy belated birthday, Eva! This is such a lovely post, full of your happiness and enthusiasm, and it is wonderful to know that you’re enjoying yourself so much in everything that you do. Having a few months head start on you, let me report that 26 is indeed an amazing age to be. But I suspect 27 will be even better and so on and so on…exactly as it should be!

  8. April 12, 2012 7:21 pm

    A very happy birthday, Eva! And here’s to a fantastic year ahead.

  9. April 12, 2012 7:27 pm

    Happy Birthday Eva. Getting old is hard on the body, but I have found aging is pleasant to my mind. The older I get the more comfortable I am with living. I think books help with that. And since you read so much, I expect you to have a contented life.

  10. jeanlp permalink
    April 12, 2012 7:31 pm

    Happy birthday! What a lovely post. :)

  11. April 12, 2012 7:38 pm

    Happy birthday! You look so content and are just full of wise words! You’re right, there’s something satisfying about enjoying simplicity instead of throwing ourselves in a complicated net of things and junk that we could do without.

  12. April 12, 2012 7:40 pm

    Happy happy birthday, Eva! As someone who is staring down the end of her 20s altogether, I think 26 makes you still a spring chicken! Here’s to many more!

  13. Terri B. permalink
    April 12, 2012 7:55 pm

    You look truly happy and content. Happy Birthday, Eva! I wish you many more :)

  14. April 12, 2012 8:05 pm

    A very happy birthday to you! I knew you were young, but didn’t realize just how young you still are! You’ve truly got many content years ahead, especially given the changes you have made this last year and the joy they’ve brought to you. I am truly thrilled for you, it is wonderful. I hope you were celebrated with the royal treatment by family and friends.

  15. April 12, 2012 8:05 pm

    Happy birthday!

  16. April 12, 2012 8:08 pm

    Happy birthday, Eva! I’m an April baby, too—I turned twenty-one on Monday, and my nephew is due any day now. (McBrides tend towards Aries, apparently!) I’m glad that this past year has been a transformative one, and one for the better. Many happy returns, my friend. :)

  17. April 12, 2012 8:12 pm

    Happy birthday, youngster! And happy travels!

  18. Kristen M. permalink
    April 12, 2012 8:13 pm

    Happy, happy birthday to a beautiful woman! You’re an inspiration, Eva and I hope that the year ahead of you is full of wonderful things. :)

  19. jennakathepickygirl permalink
    April 12, 2012 8:58 pm

    Eva! Happy birthday. You look absolutely beautiful in that photo, and partly because you look so content. I’m glad you’re in a good place, and looking forward to travel always makes me happy.

  20. April 12, 2012 9:14 pm

    May I wish you a very happy birthday, Eva! You look so precious in the photos. I’m so glad that you are feeling such contentment. That’s a priceless thing isn’t it? And Indian food and chai – bliss. Hoping this next year will be one of all the best things for you. Hugs!

  21. avisannschild permalink
    April 12, 2012 9:24 pm

    Happy birthday, Eva! I love that second picture of you especially — you look like you’re really savouring that chai! Have a wonderful year!

  22. April 12, 2012 10:46 pm

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fantastic 26th year! :)

  23. aartichapati permalink
    April 12, 2012 11:07 pm

    Happy birthday, Eva! I, too, love chai :0)

  24. April 12, 2012 11:30 pm

    :) Happy birthday!!

  25. April 12, 2012 11:39 pm

    Happy birthday Eva! I’m truly happy that you are in such a wonderful place in time :)

  26. April 13, 2012 12:24 am

    Happy birthday, Eva! You’re an inspiration by the way you live your life. May there be many happy years to come.


  27. April 13, 2012 1:11 am

    Happy birthday, Eva! Sounds like you are happy with your age. I had my birthday yesterday (the 12th). I’m not quite twice as old as you, but not that far off.

    Hope you have a great year!

  28. April 13, 2012 3:01 am

    Happy Birthday Eva and all the best for the year ahead.

  29. April 13, 2012 5:36 am

    I’m turning 26 in just six days and reading your post just made me happy! Happy Birthday Eva :)

  30. Tony permalink
    April 13, 2012 5:37 am

    Have a good one Eva – and many more to come :)

  31. April 13, 2012 6:08 am

    Happy Birthday! You are just over one month younger than me, I had no idea we are the same age! I’m happier at 26 than at 25 too, and have come to terms with getting a bit older. There’s something scary about the mid-20s and finally having to grow up.

  32. April 13, 2012 6:09 am

    Happy birthday Eva! It sounds like you had a good day and the praragraph about fining your place in life is really touching.

    And who could say no to unlimited chai?

  33. Beth F permalink
    April 13, 2012 6:59 am

    I already said happy birthday on Twitter, but I’ll say it again here. So happy you are happy! And yes, I’ll take some chai.

  34. thewendi permalink
    April 13, 2012 7:58 am

    Happy Birthday (a little late)

  35. April 13, 2012 8:16 am

    Happy Birthday Eva! I am so thankful for your life, your blog, your twitter presence, and, of course, our friendship. I hope that the coming year brings you so much joy and happiness.

  36. April 13, 2012 8:28 am

    Aw, what a lovely post! And happy birthday! It was mine on Monday, so also happy fellow April birthday! :)

  37. April 13, 2012 8:56 am

    Oh a very happy birthday to you Eva! I’m glad you’ve been able to find happiness.

  38. buriedinprint permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:12 am

    Ah, homemade b’day cakes are just the best. And what a joyful post you’ve shared with all of us. Thanks for that. And may you have many more years as whole+heart+edly satisfying as this last has been.

    • April 13, 2012 9:19 am

      That’s actually homemade pumpkin brownies (I’m not a cake girl)! And they were delicious. :)

  39. Amy C permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:20 am

    Happy Birthday Eva! I will be turning 36 this summer – I can’t believe I’m almost 10 years older than you. I feel old! But even though I’m in a completely different phase of life (married with two little kids, etc), I love reading your blog and feeling that joy of finding a fellow reader! Wishing you tons of happiness this year.

  40. April 13, 2012 10:51 am

    Many, many happy returns, Eva! I hope you had a great day!

  41. April 13, 2012 10:52 am

    Happy birthday! You indeed look deeply happy!

  42. April 13, 2012 11:49 am

    Happy belated birthday! :)

  43. April 13, 2012 12:19 pm

    Happy birthday! That’s so cool – I turned 26 myself earlier this year :D

    And I am so glad to hear that you’re happy and that you’re “cozy within yourself” – I don’t think there’s a better feeling to have for yourself on your own birthday.

    I am preparing to go to one Indian place soon, not sure if they have chai refills though!

  44. SeekUp726 permalink
    April 13, 2012 1:25 pm

    Haaaapy birthday . . . hopefully this year will treat you as well as the last.

  45. Ash permalink
    April 13, 2012 1:39 pm

    Belated birthday wishes Eva. Have a wonderful year ahead! :)

  46. Jeane permalink
    April 13, 2012 2:38 pm

    Happy Happy birthday!

  47. April 13, 2012 4:18 pm

    Oh, Eva, I just loved reading this. A very happy belated birthday to you, my friend. May the deep-rooted happiness persist!

  48. April 13, 2012 4:45 pm

    Happy birthday, cutie! Love these photos and so glad you are doing so well and so happy. Keep on keepin’ on!

  49. April 13, 2012 5:38 pm

    Happy birthday!!! I’m 27 and I think the second half of my 20s have been even better than the first half so far. I hope your year is full of wonderful reads and new adventures!

  50. April 13, 2012 6:09 pm

    This post made me so happy!! Happy (belated) birthday to you! Hearing about how happy you are these days makes me smile because I know you’ve had difficulties over the past few years so I’m SO glad to know you are in a good and very positive place. :) And also, I’m so jealous of your upcoming Mexico trip! Traveling is the BEST isn’t it?

  51. April 13, 2012 9:58 pm

    Aw, happy belated birthday my dear!!! You look so beautiful and happy in your pictures :) I hope that this year sees even more happiness for you Eva and sees you becoming even more at peace with life. I’m so happy that things are looking up for you overall!! *GINORMOUS HUGS*

  52. April 13, 2012 10:20 pm

    Happy belated birthday Eva! Going into your mid-20’s is like a downhill slide…into AWESOME, which you are! Looks like you had a blast. Where will you travel to?

  53. April 13, 2012 11:05 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Eva! I have been such a stranger lately, so I do apologize for being late. Take care of yourself!

  54. Caroline permalink
    April 14, 2012 2:46 am

    Happy belated birthday, Eva! (I’ve been away for a few days, so I only just read this post.) So glad to hear life is going so well for you – I get so much pleasure from reading your blog (although I’m a terrible lurker, sorry). I love the idea of rich simplicity – I need some of that in my own life! :)

  55. April 14, 2012 10:34 am

    Happy birthday and many many more happier ones to come.

  56. April 14, 2012 1:22 pm

    Happy birthday! Wonderful to hear that you are happy and how you got there. Long may it last!

  57. April 14, 2012 8:43 pm

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great year to come.

  58. samantha1020 permalink
    April 14, 2012 9:40 pm

    I hope that you had a wonderful birthday Eva!

  59. April 15, 2012 7:58 am

    Belated birthday wishes to you! I am glad that you are finding a way to make your dreams come true!

  60. April 15, 2012 8:21 am

    Wonderful birthday pictures! Belated good wishes.

  61. April 16, 2012 7:58 am

    Happy belated birthday, Eva!

  62. April 16, 2012 10:50 am

    Happy belated birthday, Eva. And glad that you are happy now. Indeed, there is so much peace and tranquility in simplicity. That has been my credo.

  63. April 16, 2012 6:21 pm

    Now my wishes are extremely belated, because I was out of town this weekend. But happy happy birthday! I’m glad you feel happy when you look over the past year and the changes it’s brought. I hope things just keep getting better and more fulfilling this year, and many happy returns of the day. #hug

  64. April 17, 2012 10:44 am

    Happy belated birthday Eva! I am so glad to hear that you have had a good year and I hope that this one is even better. Yay to being 26 together :)

  65. boardinginmyforties permalink
    April 17, 2012 7:52 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday Eva. Wishing you all the best this year and in the years to come!

  66. April 19, 2012 10:49 am

    You do look happy and content in your photos and beautiful as always. Belated happy birthday Eva!!!

  67. April 19, 2012 4:57 pm

    Happy belated birthday! Mmmmm…chai…mmm…Indian food. Hope you had a wonderful day!

  68. April 19, 2012 9:16 pm

    Happy belated birthday!

  69. April 22, 2012 11:19 am

    Happy belated birthday!!!

  70. April 25, 2012 7:47 pm

    A very happy birthday to you! And many good wishes for the coming year. :)

  71. April 27, 2012 10:30 am

    Happy birthday. 26 is the age of queens hehe :) I really hear what you say about moving towards a rich simplicity too – having less things but loving them more is definitely something I could work on!

  72. May 8, 2012 9:40 am

    Happy Belated Birthday!


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