Last week, I embarked on my 27th spin around that great ol’ ball of fire. The day went by like a gentle whisper, starting with a brunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe with K and then strolling around Laguna Gloria before popping in a free lettering workshop and heading home for a movie on the couch with our pups. While I have nothing against big birthday celebrations and in fact enjoy them occasionally, I generally have a preference of welcoming a new age by reminiscing on the previous one. I’ve spent the last few birthdays clacking away at my keyboard and reliving the most memorable moments of the year past. This time, it took me a little more than a week to get through age 26.
At first, when I asked myself: So, what did age 26 bring you? All I could think was, “A growing baby inside me.”
Sandwiched between the age I got married and the age I will have become a mother, 26 seemed to merely be an age of transition. Not that getting pregnant isn’t a remarkable thing in itself, it just felt as if that was the only thing I did at age 26—be pregnant. I turned to a collection of 21st-century memorabilia: photos saved on my iPhone.
Slowly, as I went through month by month, life experiences came back to me. I suspect that one of the reasons I enjoy reminiscing on birthdays is because, it being in mid-November, it feels like an early review of the general year and helps me to prepare for the upcoming new year.
What did, after all, age 26 bring me?
My first selfie at age 26.
An introduction to a new favorite graphic novel, Saga.
The completion of a massive art project.
A trip to New York City, where K and I got lost among skyscrapers, in charming bookstores, and within the world of Spring Awakening.
A jungle-themed New Year’s party. I am clawing a guy I had never seen before this night and have yet to see since then.
A Super Smash Bros slash Star Wars birthday party for K.
Some bromance action when K and his bestie were the final two standing.
A new office space to work in. I am marveled at how empty this place seems compared to now. And melancholy that I can no longer bring the dogs to work. (Building policy.)
An organized bookshelf.
A second meeting with Pierce Brown, one of K and my favorite authors.
A lovely dinner that I consider to be the very first step in what evolved to be my creative team’s research trips for Convo’s Community film series. Here we are finishing up some delish Mexican food over the course of a two-hour conversation with Jo, the grandmother of the Austin Deaf Community.
A retreat with my creative team, which has since then nearly doubled.
The making of Convo’s Community dreams a reality. Here’s me onstage with Nyle DiMarco at our first Community event in Austin, TX.
A sun-soaked week with the brother, which was exactly what my soul needed after a stressful and chaotic month at work.
So much good food.
The last photo of us before we found out there was an embryo with our DNAs swimming around in my uterus. We’re looking dapper for TSD’s Diamond Gala here.
The first ultrasound. When it became real for us.
A bump peeking (along with Jess) after a particularly good Italian dinner in Rochester, NY where Convo had our second Community event.
The baby announcement.
A stimulating weekend at Deaf People of Color Conference, which I got to experience with Dad.
Our first wedding anniversary.
A day at one of Austin’s many water holes when Mom and her boyfriend came to visit.
A hike to Enchanted Rock to mark my 18th week being pregnant. Yorick’s either panting under the extreme heat or just plain terrified to be several feet off the ground.
The completion of an exhaustive and enlightening research trip in New England.
Evidence of a more human-looking fetus.
An ever-growing bump.
A new circle of mama-friendships.
More mama friends.
A changing body.
A Halloween-themed baby shower.
A night as Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.
A late-nighter with my phenomenal team. We are watching the 19478329th draft of New England Deaf Community.
A vote in the most bizarre and depressing Election I have ever experienced.
A farewell to age 26.
And a welcome to age 27 in the best possible way: cuddled up in contentment.
T’was a simple age. If the simplicity this year did one thing, it was to give me room to develop routine and habits, which in turn have prepared me for greater experiences ahead. Thank you, twenty-six. You were good to me. And now, clicking ‘post’, I finally feel ready say, “I am twenty-seven.”