Celebration Changed Me

Jackie Alvarez

Celebrating changed me. There was one night in particular. I had reached the end of an enormous accomplishment, and I wanted to throw a little get-together. It took ten years to finish my degree in Vocal Performance, and a decade of school seemed noteworthy. The problem was, I was so busy trying to finish well I didn’t have time to plan my party. A few friends who’d been alongside for the journey said, let us.

The day went like this: friends came early to set up, they made the most delectable spread of food, they served my party guests, they clinked glasses, they cleaned up afterward. Their entire day was on my behalf. I simply showed up in a dress.

The lavishness changed me. It was a night where I was given-to greatly. People gave of their culinary efforts, decorating abilities, laughter and encouraging words.

I’ve noticed sometimes we don’t know who we are until we’re told. It’s important to tell people what we see in them — those truths they may or may not know about themselves. At times it’s with words, other times it may be through celebration. Celebration shows our esteem, it shows the journey is significant.

I’ve noticed sometimes we don’t know who we are until we tell ourselves. It’s confirming externally what we know internally. Sometimes it’s with words, but not always. It’s wearing that pretty dress to the party. It’s wearing a dress on an ordinary day because I feel pretty or unique or especially grateful for my life. It’s wearing a dress because life doesn’t feel great at the moment, but I am determined to find goodness even if I have to create it myself. Or, maybe I’ll find myself a pastry.

Celebration as a lifestyle changes the shape of our heart, growing to accommodate the well-spring of goodness around us waiting to be noticed.

As we grow to learn what it’s like to live celebration, may you see the ways celebration has changed you. May you celebrate others so their hearts may be molded by your gestures. May you find reasons — both large and small — to celebrate on an as-much-as-possible basis.