26.

I haven’t posted in a while. I got two new jobs. I got a new family member – a tiny little baby kitten (more on that lil piece of perfection later). AND I found a grey hair.

This is especially important because I HAD A BIRTHDAY. A BIG BIRTHDAY.

I turned 26.

Twenty-freaking-six andall I have to show for it is this one grey hair.

I have to remind myself that as I’m sitting here stressing about how it feels like I’m three birthdays away from planning my funeral, I am listening to Taylor Swift, so I guess it doesn’t matter that I’m 26… ’cause I’m feelin’ twenty-twooooo. (Sorry).

I’m not one to really plan anything big for myself on my birthday. Last year I made plans to be alone and ended up having a big adventure (stay tuned).

This year I left the birthday planning in the capable hands of the person who probably cares the most about me on this earth…and ended up having a big adventure.

Here’s what happened.

October 20th: BDAY. 

I had to work and in true Destini form, I didn’t tell anyone it was my birthday, so when flowers were DELIVERED to my work, my manager was perplexed as to why I let him schedule me and then we celebrated with a slice of apple pie and a shot of tequila.

Then, just as I was about to get off work, my bestie, my Asian Twin (A.T) showed up and surprised me! I was so shocked that I did nothing and now she has a really boring GoPro video of me saying “Hi!”

Then me and my Fav Dude (F.D) went to a nice, fancy restaurant with lots of nice, fancy food and lots of nice, fancy wine.

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Luckily we knew a friend who works at the restaurant and he took really good care of us. This was approximately an eight-course meal full of just about every food that I know: Eggplant CUSTARD (YEAH.), Melon, Manchego, Squid, Pasta, Lobster MUSHROOMS (YEAHHH.), Duck, Sausage, Bread Pudding, THE BEST Chocolate Cake,Wine, Champagne!! (I’m probably forgetting like five things).

About halfway through the meal I started to feel bad. Like, sick-bad. Maybe because I was practically licking my plate clean after every course? Who knows? I kept eating…

It was seriously some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life…and when I got home I threw it all up.

I was in the bathroom for a good half an hour literally throwing money down the toilet. (I can’t have nice things). Then I gathered my dignity, changed into my comfy pants and met my friends at a karaoke bar, where I sang Drunk in Love…even though I wasn’t drunk in anything, because I threw up my fancy feast, so I spent two hours nursing one single shot of Fernet.

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DAY TWO: DAY AFTER BDAY.

I was granted the next day off of work, which was cool because I had a food-hangover, and another birthday surprise was on the agenda.

The two stars of Day One – A.T and F.D, and I piled in the car and headed to the beach for Secret Bday Activity #2.

HORSEBACK RIDING. ON THE BEACH.

Last year, a borderline homeless man tried to mouth-kiss me on my birthday and this year I was going to ride a horse in the sand? In the water? I DIE.

I’ve done many’a trail ride on horseback in my day, but none of the instructions/safety precautions have ever compared to this mans:

“You have ride before? ….Cool.”

So armed with those tricks of the trade, we were off! There were six of us, led by a Mexican man with a branch in one hand, reins in the other, quietly whistling a tune down the trail.

It was beautiful! Rolling green hills, sea mist in the air, white waves crashing on the sand, and our horses were calmly walking down the beach.

Until they weren’t.

Our guide stopped to take pictures of us on horseback in front of the ocean.

Of course the horses F.D & I were on were straight up nuts. They started inching away from the group which I thought was really cute.

Until it wasn’t.

F.D’s horse, completely unannounced, just took off in a full-on trot, which turned into a gallop, which turned into a freakin’ SPRINT. And my horse, ever the copycat, followed.

I was half-laughing-hysterically at F.D’s bouncing turtle-like posture and his freedom calls – “WHOOOOOO!” – and half-scared-to-death that I was going to land HARD on the sand at any moment.

All of the horses were sprinting by this point, down the sand and up some hills. Our guide was lagging behind, probably laughing at the poor idiots who hopped on the backs of wild mustangs with no prior safety instructions given.

We finally came to a halt at the top of a sandy dune. The only word anyone could muster was “Shit.” Just one by one, different intervals, different octaves,
Shit.” “Shit.” “Shit.” 

When we were almost back at the stables, I realized I had lost my hoodie on our high-speed chase. GUYS. It had literally detached itself from my body because we were running so fast.

It was both terrifying and exhilarating, which I think all good things are.

When we dismounted from Crazy Horses 1&2, we sat on a bench to regroup and rest our corresponding sore bits. (As comfortable as speed-bouncing on a saddle sounds…it’s not).

We had been sitting for approximately ten seconds when a BIG ASS CAT came out of nowhere and made a home on my lap. (Hello, nice to meet you, I am the Cat Whisperer). He easily weighed twenty pounds and started purring within seconds of contact. My legs were still shaking from the horse race and were practically buckling under this feline’s weight, but he burrowed his face into my bosom and wrapped his toddler-sized paw around my waist and started drooling from happiness, so how could I resist?

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Sometimes we create big expectations for something and sometimes we don’t. And sometimes someone comes along that defies any of the expectations we could have laid out. Those people need to be appreciated. For the ups and the downs and for all the bumps that may pop up in between.

Life is messy and it doesn’t always honor our plans. Sometimes when we expect a perfect scenario, someone will come and puke all over it. But if we ride it out, we might find ourselves on the back of a horse, the sun in our eyes, the wind in our face, speeding down the open road (or sand), screaming “WHOOOOO!” because it’s just a good day to be alive.

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