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The 29th was my 44th birthday.  It was unlike any other.

Other than the fact that I spent it alone after work,  I just felt different.

Okay, if I’m being fair, the quiet house and the importance, to me,  of the special post I wrote that night was a pretty awesome way to spend my birthday.

Up until this year though, it seemed no matter how many birthdays I’ve had, I always experienced that twinge of excitement either the night before or morning of.

That warm, fuzzy, childlike moment when your head tells you “It’s my birthday!”

Not this year.

I’m glad I was born, don’t get me wrong.  And I am grateful for life every day.

Flashback time … gather ’round.  Little story for you.

When I was 9 or 10, and living in England, I had a rather complicated appendectomy.  It resulted in staying in hospital longer than the other children.  They went home minus their appendix and I waved goodbye, wishing I was going home too.

My poor (now 40-year-old) Teddy had to have an appendectomy too.  I performed it.  We had to match 😉

A while after that surgery, (and after I finally got to go home) I became very ill.  I was misdiagnosed with gastric flu.

I got sicker.

My mum, deciding it was ridiculous that I could not even keep a drop of water down, walked me to the doctor.  (Yes, we walked.   We didn’t have a car, we walked everywhere.)

When she got me inside the practice, the doctor took one look at me and said something along the lines of “Oh God, she’s in trouble.”

An ambulance was called.

I remember being very aware of my surroundings.  I was so excited to be in the ambulance!  It was my first time after all!  I remember chattering on and on to the doctors and nurses when we arrived at the hospital. 

My mum had promised me I could have Ribena (A blackcurrant drink in the UK) I specifically recall telling them this as they wheeled me down a hall on a gurney.

I also remember wondering why they didn’t seem to care! LOL!

Their faces were serious and they were in a hurry.

Turns out, scar tissue from my mucked up appendectomy had grown around my intestines, resulting in strangulation. 

Also turns out, due to dehydration and the seriousness of the diagnosis, had my mother not brought me in, I would have had died within half an hour.

I lived.  (Obviously.  That always cracks me up, when someone is telling a serious story and it gets to a dangerous and life threatening part and the listener, with wide eyes, asks, “Did you make it??”)

The surgery was a success.  I recall the doctor telling me that he cut me so that I could wear a bikini and the scar wouldn’t show.  (Dude! I’m 10!)

I used to hate that scar!  I even got my belly button pierced years ago so that the jewelry would be the first thing I noticed while looking at my naked body, instead of the scar.

I still rock the piercing, but I look in wonderment and respect today at my scar, my reminder of how near to death I was.

Then came the partying.  SO much partying.  I treated my body like a carnival for a while.  Albeit a carnival in a bad part of town with really crappy rides … but a carnival none the less. (Debauchery Soup people, Debauchery Soup.)

I lived.

Ever wonder why?  “Why am I here?”

I have throughout the years pondered that question.

Was I spared for Nicholas to be born?  Is he to be someone great?

Obviously as his mother I can tell you he already is someone great, but you know what I mean. 

Like a Terminator type ‘great’ – “He will save the world in the future!  So you shall live to bear this child!”

That kind of great.

On a serious note, a friend of mine lost her partner the other day – whenever I would call her to chat, or get advice, I could hear him in the background saying “Tell her she’s enough!”

Tonight my friend Samantha had posted on her wall: “People who tell you how to be a better person, offer advice, point you to their path or try to fix you, don’t realize that they are already enough.”

I liked that.

I like the thought that everyone is right where they are meant to be.  And not only am I enough, but so are they.  Just as they are.

(And if no one has told you today, “You are enough.  And you are loved.”)

Lately I’ve been feeling like more than enough.  I’m filled with a magical, mystical sense of hope and life.

I feel every experience I have had in these 44 years is soon to reveal a purpose.  A destiny.  A bell has been rung.

And thank God I’m ready for that!  Because I am so very grateful for everything I already have.  I do not want for anything.  I have shelter, food, family, friends.

I have passions and causes.

Dreams and desires.

Yes, something has been awakened in me.

It truly has been a week of birth.


I’m not a groupie!

Was that eye-catching enough?

Been thinking lately about passion.

My son and I had a chat about this.  His plan for after graduation was to pursue higher education in the culinary field.  I know he has an interest in food (for sure I know this lol) and also in cooking – but not in the way that he’s constantly in the kitchen, or watching cooking shows, or looking up chefs and restaurants on the internet.

I pointed this out to him and have previously pointed out that you don’t just suddenly become a Chef – master of your own kitchen and restaurant.  There’s hard work involved and you start from the bottom and work your way up.

You have to LOVE what you’re doing.  You’re going to be cooking the same dishes over and over and over, in a hot, busy, noisy kitchen.

He wasn’t sure what else he had a talent for or an interest in, until I pointed out the fact that there is one constant in his life lately that he seems to also enjoy.  Photography.

We’ll see where that goes, but I had already been thinking about passion and this only served to bring on more pondering.

What is my passion?

I’m not sure.  I know what I like to do.

I know I’m pretty good at a few things, but by no means do I excel in anything that I’m aware of.

I like to write.  I like to draw.  I like to paint.  I like to sing. I like to take photographs. But I’m really not GREAT at any of those things.

If someone came to me and said ‘Debauch,’ (ok, we’ve established my name is Amanda in my first post, I suppose it’s alright to use it).

Rewind, they start over and come to me and say, ‘Amanda, you no longer have to worry about earning money.  Your rent, food, utilities and car are covered.  Go and pursue your passion!’

I would have no clue what I would do!

I titled this post ‘I’m not a groupie’ for a reason.  I have a few – OK, several ex’s that were in bands.

Yes, it’s exciting to be at a show, yes, it is kind of cool to be the singer/drummer/bass players girlfriend.  BUT!  That wasn’t what drew me to any of them.

Other than my passion for music, I’m drawn to people who pursue their dreams.

Drive, ambition, hard work and gratitude for whatever fruit is born from that.  Yup.

For me, there’s nothing sexier than someone who not only shows an interest in something, but has the tenacity to develop their talent and then not only work hard to chase their dream but to MAKE IT HAPPEN?  Holy cow.  THAT is a turn on.

It says a lot about a person who knows who they are, what they want and has the courage and drive to achieve it.

Whatever ‘it’ is.  Doesn’t have to be music.

I’m not a groupie, I’m a ‘dream chaser connoisseur’.

I had a great opportunity this Summer to meet the Gin Blossoms singer Robin Wilson.

Watch any live video of him on YouTube and you’ll see a man who loves what he does and loves interacting with his fans.

I told him this.  I mentioned how amazing it was to see him enjoying his show.

He told me that he really does love what he does and still has fun doing it.

He went on to share some of his inspirations with me.  Some were other frontmen who enjoy what they do as much as he does.  It really comes through in the performance you know.

No matter what you do – enthusiasm for it, comes through in the performance.

I think right now in my life, my passion may be learning? Growing spiritually and making connections.  If I didn’t have to work – if I had an all access pass to pursue a passion … I think I’d grab my son and hit the road.

I’d show him  some of the countries I’ve had the honor of visiting.

I would want to return to India – show him how happy some of the poorest communities are because they are grateful.

I would want to return to France and Italy and Greece and show him art and architecture.

I would want to return to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and show him what it’s like to live in surrounded by unrest and fear.

I would do those things, and take photographs and write about it here.

I think I found it.

My passion is all of the things I don’t do perfectly, but love doing. 

Being a mom, a student, a teacher – immersing myself in other cultures and beliefs – and sharing that.

And, if we hit a few concerts on the way?  Just remember – I’m not a groupie!