I want to thank the people who’ve joined me in celebrating this occasion. I normally hate birthdays, but this one felt even more special and, consequentially, daunting than all of the other ones. I think that 25 is a good time to stop, think, reassess and re-imagine yourself and your work. Sometimes, doing it alone can be helpful, but in my case, I needed my friends and relatives. So I came back to my old hometown, where this entire thing began.
David flew over from Britain, and though my mom was called away to Moscow and couldn’t make it back in time, she very touchingly called me at 1 p.m. today and said “the Kremlin clock is ticking one! You were just born!” I like the tradition of congratulating the mother and giving her flowers on a child’s birthday – I think it’s an important gesture. I only wish mom was in town for it, just as I wish that Boyfriend was in town. Absences make you appreciate presences more, though.
My dad and I were born in the same hospital in leafy central Kiev. I walk by it often when I’m in town. Even at this relatively young age, I can’t help but think of my life as a mini-odyssey, especially when glancing at the windows of that old hospital, like portals to another world . There has been so much bouncing around between continents, and so much turmoil – both the good and the bad kind. “Exciting” doesn’t always mean “good,” but I still think I’ve had it damn good, all things considered. If emotionally things haven’t been easy this year, I like the juncture I’m at creatively and professionally. I think I’ve done a lot and am ready to do much more.
I am a lucky girl. Lucky to have people to love, and to have those people love me back. I’m lucky that I have the stars and the bars (my Carmen), and just enough money to hang out in them past closing-time, and enough good company so that my champagne glass is filled and stays filled.
Lots of pictures were taken last night (I decided to celebrate the night before, so that everyone could avoid a Monday hangover), and this is one of the few semi-sober ones that is fit for publication:
ETA Oh, just one more picture. It features Sasha, whom I’ve been friends with for EIGHTEEN YEARS NOW: