Not too many people can say they spent their 21st birthday in another country, but it’s
pretty freaking sick alright I guess.
Not gonna lie, I was a little depressed the day before my birthday on Wednesday (I was also super sick and not really in the mood to rage). It’s not that I’m anywhere close to unhappy in Spain or about turning 21, but I really wished I could have talked to my parents and relatives on the phone (thanks for the Viber phone call Auntie Paula!). Being away from home-home and ‘Cuse-home also made me miss my siblings and friends who didn’t go abroad this semester more than ever. Before I knew I would be in Spain this fall, I pictured turning 21 surrounded by my closest ‘Cuse friends and doing the standard “I got into Chuck’s!” face in all my pictures that first legal night. However, I’m more aware than ever that you can’t be upset about the things you can’t change, and you have to live in the moment the best you can (“Be present!” is my internal abroad mantra).
So, with the enthusiasm of my friends (and a couple strangers wishing me happy birthday) to cheer me up, I got up, got dressed, and had one of the best birthdays ever. When you turn 21 at Cuse, it’s customary to enter Chuck’s, the only “exclusively” 21+ bar on campus that is famous for signatures all over the walls and cheap alcohol. For my birthday in Spain, we ended up at a small place near school Maloney’s. In the best, most serendipitous way, it was pretty similar to Chuck’s, complete with the sorority signatures on the wall and a Cuse shirt hanging next to the bar. It was definitely a sign and made me feel like I’m not skipping a beat.
My friends Allison and Hannah generously made sure I was properly hydrated and the whole bar sang to me at midnight, which made me feel like a kid again in the best way! The bartender gave me a free flaming shot but the video is by request only. It wasn’t a late night, but it was exactly what I wanted and needed, with all my (sorority) sisters and friends right by my side.
During the day, pretty much everyone somehow figured out it was my birthday (Facebook, I’m on to you…) and we geared up for round 2. My host mom made us a delicious dinner and even gave us some vino! We blew out a candle in some flan and sang in English and Spanish. Later Anna gave me some double chocolate Magnum ice cream bars which is equivalent to gold. Muchas gracias Anna! Then we went to the “Cave Bar” Chapandaz and I got a free bottle of champagne, and the boys made sure I was well-hydrated again tonight, how sweet! Again, I’m so fortunate to have some of my best Cuse girlfriends in Spain with me, and we had a blast.
The next day I Skyped my family in Massachusetts. Miss those guys.
All around a great birthday. Here’s to new beginnings, no regrets, and another year of adventures! Salud.