Happy Birthday to you and your cat 1

Every year on my birthday, I feel like a get a second chance. It’s almost like my very own New year. At midnight, I thank God for the year past and the one to come. I kiss my husband and raise a glass to the new.
There is expectation and wonder.

The older I get, the more I realize that ‘that’ feeling, the one looking forward is so much more important than the feeling of looking back. I used to camp in the space of all the things I had not done rather than toast to what I had done and what I would do, to the places I was going to tread lightly on, the roads I was going to run through too quickly and the streets where I would linger because the architecture of that month was good.

There is a space that exists between your past and your future. Curiosity lives in that space. Expectation and wanderlust and marvel and searching live there.

But so does disinterest
and indifference
and normality.

I think we often find ourselves in this in-between place of life and are torn between who to live with.
Search for the new or Stay in the old?
Road less travelled or beaten path?
Questions of why or answers of when?

Am I asking “Why is the world like this? What can I do to make it better?”
OR simply saying ‘When they start doing it the way I have always done it, the world will be better?

Am I walking into possibilities or dragging everyone into probability?

Over ten years ago, I visited Kenya for the first time. It was a miracle meeting of expectation and the expected. I loved being there and in the first few days found myself in an obscure village. There was no electricity, no hot water, no target and no spotify playlist. I was living with a sweet family in the middle of the wilderness and every night after dinner with everyone in the village, we scattered to our respective living quarters. I would walk out of the generator lit home, into absolute and full darkness. My task was to get to where I would sleep that night and my guide was my eagerness to get there alive and an 8 year old boy, David. He was precious and sure of where he was going. Every night for almost a month I walked by faith. He would stop once in a while and tell me to keep still. I would whisper ‘Why?’ and he would put his hands around my ear to tell me his secret “Danger. Animal. Maybe”

Living a curious, wander and wonder life is often like walking at night in the woods. It takes faith and a little bit of risk. You might never be sure what you will find. There might be danger, and sometimes you might have to be really still.
But maybe, just maybe you end up at home.
Maybe, just maybe you realize that you don’t need any of things you were once used to, any of your earthly comforts because the adventure was enough.

When you get to your own New Year in 2016, I hope you choose wisely.
Between magic and mundane, I hope you choose magic.
Between adventure and avoidance, I hope you choose adventure.
Between wonder and worry, I hope you choose wonder.

Gosh, I hope I choose it too. It’s not always easy. Sometimes you might need a guide, your own little David who is sure of the way.

Who do you let guide you into curious living? Do you need to revive your inner cat that curiosity once killed? It’s a new year, anything is possible. Plus, cats have a thousand lives.

Happy birthday to you,


About Riyanka Panditha

Hello. I am Riyanka. Commonly referred to as “Ria” and daily loved by my family and friends. I am a child of God, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I love to sing, dance in the rain and make single servings of cake. I am known for my listening skills and my lack of response to Facebook messages. You can follow my writing more over at www.riyankaleah.com I was born in India, raised in the middle east, spent my most growing years in the US, married the hottest Sri-Lankan Australian hunk and moved to Perth, Western Australia 4 years ago! Life is extravagant, yet simple. Extravagant in love, simple in things. Just the way I like it :)

One thought on “Happy Birthday to you and your cat

  • Elaine Fraser

    Oh so lovely, Ria. I love the idea of your birthday eve being your own New year’s Eve. That’s a great perspective to have. Following our curiosity and seeing where it leads us, and taking a guide along for the ride, is a great move. Enjoy your birthday and the adventurous journey of a new year of life lived to the full. xxxx

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