four life lessons, as learned on my 25th birthday
They say that with each new year you become a little more wise. Well, that couldn’t be any truer for me. Last week, I turned the big 2-5. Yes, that’s right: Your homegirl is now a quarter century old! To ring in the milestone, I, along with my close friends, decided to celebrate in the beautiful city of Montreal.
We spent nearly two months planning the big weekend, ensuring that everything would go off without a hitch. I would drive the five hours to Montreal and once we arrived, the shenanigans would begin.
The morning of the drive down, equipped with McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches, coffee and the trusty aux cable (what’s a long car ride without good music?), the four of us set off for what I thought would be the weekend of the summer.
Clearly, the devil had other plans.
The car accident
They say that bad luck always comes in threes and unfortunately, they were right. Not only would this be be the first of three unlucky things to happen to us that weekend, but it would also be the first valuable lesson I’d learn.
About half an hour into the drive, we came to a standstill on the highway. Unbeknownst to us, the night before there had been a fatal accident that had caused all three eastbound lanes in Port Hope (a small town along the way) to close down as crews worked to repave the highway. Rather than wait an uncertain amount of hours for the lanes to reopen, we decided to jump off the highway and continue the trip on back roads.
As luck would have it, the back roads were actually one single road and on it, traffic was brutal. After a few kilometres of painful start and stops, we came to a red light at a main intersection.
And that’s when the devil tried me.
Suddenly, the car jolted forward. Someone had rear-ended my car.
I’ll spare you the details of the exchange that ensued with the other driver but let’s just say… It was less than pleasant.
Lesson #1: Once I had calmed down and we were on our way again, I began to realize how lucky we were. Although the accident set us back about an hour and a half, it was minor. No one was hurt and my car was still in tact. Things could have been much worse. The moral of the story: Always look on the bright side.
My stint in the ER
After nine hours of driving, we finally made it to Montreal.
After checking into our AirBnB, we headed out for a night of food and clubbing. All was going well, until… I broke my nail. And no, not just any nail, but my acrylic nail. And not only did I break my acrylic nail but worse, I had snapped it in half, tearing my natural nail off the nail bed.
Tragic, I know.
With my hand now a bloody mess and in agony, off to the ER we went. After spending three hours waiting to see a doctor (technically I wasn’t dying, so patients with more serious injuries were seen before me), I was given some Tylenol 3’s, bandaged up and sent back to my AirBnB.
The bandaged finger wasn’t a great look for my birthday weekend, but I did my best to make it work.
Lesson #2: I’m not one for acrylic nails; I find them extremely uncomfortable and quite frankly, a pain in the butt. Despite knowing this, I really wanted to have “pretty” hands for my birthday photos (really though, who’s even looking?). Foolishly, I decided to get the longest and most pointed acrylic nails possible, knowing full well my hands would be useless and in the end, I paid the price. The moral of the story: Be you, always.
Also, it’s all fun and games until someone ends up in the ER.
Coincidentally, that same weekend, Montreal’s annual Osheaga Music and Arts Festival was taking place. Solange was scheduled to perform and seeing as my friends and I are all big fans, we bought tickets without a second thought.
Now, remember when I said that bad luck always comes in threes? Well, as fate would have it, Solange canceled her performance a mere 24 hours before her scheduled appearance (a statement from Osheaga blamed “unforeseen productions issues out of her and the festival’s control”). The icing on the cake, of course, was that we weren’t entitled to a refund.
It was another blow to an already challenging weekend. But in the spirit of perseverance, we decided to go to the festival anyways. There, we watched performances by Tory Lanez (who does the most obvious lip sync) and Major Lazer, whose performance was so intense, it blew out the speakers at the end of the field (where of course, we happened to be standing).
Lesson #3: Although we didn’t get to see Solange perform, the day was far from a waste. The weather was absolutely beautiful and with her performance now canceled, we had time to walk the city and take in all the sights. We did some shopping, grabbed some food and even managed to get caught in the Nuestroamericana Friendship Parade. It turned out to be a good day spent with even greater people. The moral of the story: Just go with the flow.
What a weekend of unexpected twists and turns! When we set out for Montreal, I don’t think any of us anticipated that so many things would go wrong. But they did. And each time we dealt with them together which of course, brings me to lesson number four: Cherish the ones who cherish you.
Between the mini-but-still-terrible car accident, my destroyed finger nail and the canceled concert, let’s just say… Emotions were running quite high that weekend. But when the going got tough, me and my crew got going! While the weekend had more than its fair share of ups and downs, it was definitely one for the books. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
But that’s just According to Adrienne.