I have officially been alive for 28 years. I wanted to share something profound here – droplets of wisdom or wise old words. But today, I don’t feel like looking back. I don’t want to dwell on twenty-seven or twenty-six, twenty-one or the past. I am sitting here in a clean, ironed shirt, wearing red lipstick with pearls in my ears, and I just want to be. I want to experience the happiness that is pouring from my chest. I want to glow and grow, and hold the present moment in my heart. Birthdays are great because they give us pause to reflect – to establish our own personal resolutions. This year, I will live in the moment. I will not fear the future or hold on to the past. I will appreciate my surroundings, my friends, and the small moments that are often overlooked. Yesterday, my 28th birthday, was a day filled with countless honey-sweet moments. All summer, I’ve been inviting different girlfriends over for dinner on Wednesday night. I’ve coined the evening ‘Woman’s Wednesday’, and I’ve been lucky enough to share my dinner table with some brilliant ladies. As my birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, I decided it was fitting to invite a bunch of my favorite girls out for a big family-style Woman’s Wednesday dinner. Another favorite Wednesday tradition of mine is eating pasta. Growing up, my big Italian family would gorge on spaghetti and meatballs every Wednesday night, so for my birthday this year I asked the girls to meet me at Spaghetteria for massive plates of handmade pasta, crisp Italian wine, and deadly sgroppinos. I organized the whole affair quite last minute (Sunday night to be exact) so I invited twenty people in hopes that maybe five or ten would show up. To add to the fun, Spaghetteria don’t take reservations (but seriously have the best pasta in town), so the night was kind of a gamble.I walked in ten minutes late to my own party, and was overwhelmed to find fifteen beautiful women sitting at the biggest wooden table I have ever seen. We quickly ordered multiple bottles of wine, and soon, my Amsterdam family felt like a large Italian one.The menu at Spaghetteria is short and sweet. There are usually around six pasta dishes, between the price of €8-€15 euros, and everything is farm fresh and handmade. I’ve been to Spaghetteria a few times before, as their original location is a quick 5 minute walk from my house, and the food is consistently divine. We chanced the local in the west, as the space is slightly bigger and we had a better chance of getting a table with such a big party. When the food arrived, there was a collective awe at the quality. I went for the wurst, olive, and courgette pasta, which was an absolute dream. As the birthday girl I felt no shame in sampling, and can also attest that the clams and ravioli were stellar as well.
At the end of the meal, I was treated to a sparkling surprise, which I found to be quite mortifying . . . .
But also so thoughtful and lovely.
The night ended with rounds of sgroppinos, which went down way, way too easily.I am so thankful for my friends and the beautiful moments I got to share with them yesterday. When I think of where I was one year ago compared to six months ago, or where I was two months ago compared to now, I feel quite overwhelmed. I don’t understand life. But I do know it’s comprised of many little moments, that are actually quite magical if you don’t just let them pass by.