When the Universe Wished Me a Happy Birthday

Six’ish weeks ago, on my 51st birthday, a few seconds and five words changed my life forever.

Sometimes, a few seconds is all it takes. Sometimes fate does its magical thing and we’re left awestruck by the power of something greater at work. When it happens, we see things with more clarity than ever before. We understand the timing, diversions, and why things take a while to fall into place. I have learned to stop questioning; it was difficult to do, but I now know that my tendency to resist change {because of what I thought, felt, believed “should” happen} was only interfering with the natural flow of things.

My birthday has always been a special day for me. and this year I certainly needed for it to be an awesome day; the days leading up to my birthday sucked. Now, I may kid about aging and being 29 {again!} but really, I am always grateful for getting through another year. I may be older, but I’m also richer when it comes to experiences, lessons learned, personal growth and friendships {old and new!}. I celebrate by reflecting on the year that’s passed, thinking about the year ahead, and chatting with friends who are kind enough to reach out to me in so many ways. I get to have cake, too! And ice cream! Eating cake and ice cream are expected on one’s birthday; who am I to question that tradition? Most importantly, my birthday is my day to do whatever, however, whenever. I don’t rush. I don’t cave to demands. I don’t focus on things I “should” be doing. So, there I was, having a leisurely birthday morning relaxing in bed. As I scrolled through Facebook, a familiar name jumped out at me. For a few seconds, I stared. For a few more seconds, I debated. For another few seconds, I typed those five words ~ “Whoa…blast from the past…” Probably less than a minute later, not one, but TWO notifications popped up ~ one was a message request and the other, a friend request.

To give you some background information ~

In 5th grade, there was a new boy in my class. We spoke occasionally. When my birthday rolled around in December, I learned it was his birthday, too. Never had I met anyone else who shared my birthday, so I secretly thought it was kinda cool. Little did I know that this boy ~ my Birthday Twin ~ would have something to do with my destiny later on. Twice.

Fast forward 6 years:

My Birthday Twin was at a different school by then. We hadn’t seen each other since grade school and one day, we wound up at one of the local libraries at the same time, just days before my 16th birthday party. He wasn’t alone, either. When my mother and I arrived, he was sitting at one of the tables with someone I’d never met before. When he saw me, he came over to say hello and, as we talked, I found myself exchanging lingering glances and smiles with his friend. Before I knew it, I was asking him if he and his friend wanted to come to my birthday party and they both accepted.

Something amazing happened at my party. Birthday Twin’s friend and I connected in ways we couldn’t even understand at the time. We were 16 and understandably hormonal…but it was more than our raging hormones. At one point during my party, he told me he was bleeding from a cut {neither of us remembers how he got it}. Instinctively, I took care of him and he saw my nurturing, gentle side. I was struck by his vulnerability because he was nothing like most guys I knew before him. I’m convinced that, in those moments, we were building the foundation for something greater, even if neither of us realized it at the time. From the night of my party until Christmas, we saw each other regularly. He was the first guy I’d ever looked square in the eye and said, “I love you” to…and much to my delight, he said it back to me! I was amazed by how close I’d become to someone I’d known only for a short time. And then…the contact stopped, without closure or explanation, and being 16 suddenly wasn’t so sweet anymore. Although I didn’t know what’d happened, I had no choice but to move on. To be clear, there was never any animosity between us, as we didn’t end things on a sour note; as the years went by, I thought of him fondly {his name always brought a bittersweet smile to my face, wondering “what if”} and accepted our parting as “one of those things”. Before the age of Facebook, I never thought I would see anyone from my past again, least of all him…

…until…35 years later, almost to the day, I saw his name on my Birthday Twin’s Facebook Timeline…and typed those 5 words, which prompted the message and friend request. As soon as I accepted both requests, he and I began getting reacquainted, filling in the 35-year gap between {then} and {now}. We talked about the past and, although he didn’t remember exactly why we drifted, he figured it had to do with our ages and being scared of falling too deep, too fast. I felt better knowing that it was because he felt so strongly for me, and not something I said or did. He was profusely apologetic despite my best efforts to convince him that I bear no grudges or ill feelings. Hurt? Of course I was…but the hurt was quickly replaced by relief and understanding. I felt grateful that we now had a chance to get to know each other again.

He told me that he experienced a rush of old feelings as soon as my name popped up on his screen. The same happened to me. What’s happened over the past six’ish weeks, has taught me and reminded me of so much.

  • He and I may have met when we were younger, but it wasn’t the right time for a relationship.
  • Time and distance have had no effect on our feelings for each other.
  • What I’d always thought to be true was a product of my perception and assumption.
  • We cross paths with {everyone who has ever been in our lives} for a reason, whether it’s to keep us connected with certain people over time or merely to keep us in a “holding pattern” until our destined path appears before us.
  • The authenticity of his feelings and intentions has clearly highlighted the faults and flaws of other relationships, past and present; all it took was the right person to show me what I’d been missing all my life and why it never worked out with anyone else.

As much as I anticipated my birthday, it turned out far better than I ever expected, thanks to a few seconds…

…and five little words.

24 thoughts on “When the Universe Wished Me a Happy Birthday

    1. Thank you, Corinne! One of my favorite quotes:

      “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
      ― Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

      It might not have been all that “embarrassing” to reach out as I did, but I didn’t know what the response would be, even so. I’m SO glad I did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds like a fairy tale of the new era! But honestly, this warms my heart. So tenderly is it throbbing from the feelings of love ❤ I'm glad you got pleasantly surprised with this Carol! You deserve it. I do hope some fruitful comes of it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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