I promise I will get to the rest of the road trip and Sasquatch and all of the wonderfulness of the past 10 days. But today deserves its own post. To be published today.

At 12:02 am, I turned 34. Holy crap, even typing that age seems strange, and I’ve been trying to prepare myself for it. I’m not sure when I became so firmly planted in my thirtysomethings. I feel like I blinked and a decade went by. When I remember that I moved to California nine years ago next month, I’m even more sure. The time train is on a fast track.

As a friend and I were discussing the lackluster way in which I celebrate birthdays, she casually mentioned that since next year is the big 3-5, a party of some sort will surely happen. Insert mild inner freakout here.

But I have a whole year – 365 days – to prepare for 35. Lots of things can and will happen. Some good. Maybe some bad. Hopefully more good than bad. The best I can do is use the time well. And enjoy it. I have a friend who likes to give each year a slogan, hence: 34 – Show me more.

If you’re a regular reader or know me in real life, you know that I pretty much take each day as it comes. I welcome new adventures and place experiences at the top of my priority list.

You’re only as old as you feel, and it’s very rare I feel anything near mid-30s. Well unless I’m scrambling on some rocks and see kids running across them like they were a well-paved pathway.

Which brings me to how I spent my day…at the rock pool. I love it so much, remember?

Right before we left, a man showed up at my door with a lovely vase of flowers. Can you imagine being a person who delivers flowers? Everyone’s always happy to see you. I mean you can’t really help but smile when someone hands you a bouquet. It was a beautiful array of lilies, daisies, and chrysanthemums. From my parents. Such a nice surprise and an appreciated display of their love.

Next stop: Malibu Creek, which was a little more crowded than the last time we went. So we ventured out and found a spot with a little room.

Once settled, we made our way into the water. No pix of swimming or jumping this time. But both happened. Whilst wearing the same neon swimsuit, so it didn’t look much different.

Before I get to the jumping moment, I’ll get back to the rock scrambling moment I mentioned earlier. As we did last time, we swam back into a lagoon to scramble over some rocks to see the waterfall. The waterfall wasn’t as full as it was last time – which confused me – causing me to think it necessary to climb further and higher in an effort to chase the view I remembered from that day in April.

The friend I was climbing with and I watched as three kids (guessing they were around 10-13) scampered across the rocks. Never pausing. Never crouching. Never sliding down or pushing off from one to the next. Just running and jumping from boulder to boulder.

“The only difference between us and them,” my friend said, “is they’re still fearless.”

Fast forward to a moment where we got up on a rock that was difficult to get down from, forcing us to shimmy down a crevice with hands and feet stretched in a way to position and steady us between the two rocks.

“Nevermind. We’re old.”

We then climbed through a little cave thing back into the lagoon. I promptly swam through to the jumping rock and climbed up. There was less fear and hesitation this time, and one heckuva an awesome moment/interaction with a stranger.

Once I reached the top, I looked over to the friends who had not ventured in and/or up. And as I stood there on the top of the rock in the middle of the pool, my friends started singing Happy Birthday. And before I knew it EVERYBODY was singing Happy Birthday. Strangers! I looked over at the guys next to me on the rock and the closer one looked at me, realized what was going on, smiled, and then started singing. For some reason, this experience was nothing like a bunch of waiters singing and clapping (which I always hated growing up). This was a community moment. And I love those. And when the song ended, I jumped. I’m pretty sure not even the force of the water could wipe the smile off my face.

All I have of the moment is the memory, but it’s so great I’m cool with it. I do have these shots of the crowd soon after tho.

You may notice some Search and Rescue personnel in that bottom photo. While we were there, an 11 year old boy went missing. We helped look around, and were relieved to learn he was found safe, albeit stuck on a rock he had to be rescued from. So thankful for a happy ending, as there were some tense moments.

Watching this hot park ranger walk along the rock face was not one of them.

Afterward, we headed over to Malibu Seafood.

A great day with great friends, and I really can’t ask for more than that. As I look at the year ahead, there are several question marks, and the possibilities are endless. I like it that way, and can’t wait to see how things pan out. Will it ring true for me that 33 was my happiest age? It’s too soon to say, but I’d venture to say any year you can spend living your life to the fullest is a good one. And I’m not going to stop doing that anytime soon.

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