Seismic shift (and a birthday gift)

Witty Cassie Here

Today, October 17th, at 10:17 a.m., more than 20 million people worldwide are participating in what is expected to be the world’s largest earthquake drill. They say one of the safest places inside the home you can be during an earthquake is in bed (as long as there’s not a heavy, spiky light fixture above you), and that’s precisely where I’ll be at 10:17 on the morning of my birthday—preferably eating waffles while I’m there. Hey, it’s my day off from classes, and I am milking it.

Yes, today is my 24th birthday (and the 24th anniversary of the catastrophic 1989 San Francisco earthquake). And in the midst of an insane first semester of graduate school, I’m taking the time to celebrate myself by spending part of today at the beach—a first for this October baby!—and satisfying the sushi craving I’ve had for the past month. A couple days ago, the birthday cards started arriving in the mail. I’ve always loved and appreciated birthday cards, but they mean even more this first year away from home and family. Birthdays always have me feeling mixed emotions, but this year especially with all the recent major changes in my life. Luckily, I’ve got John by my side and a city I’m coming to love to make it a special one.

And I have a feeling I do have a truly special and memorable year ahead of me. While 23 was defined by anticipation, anxiety, uncertainty, and the biggest decisions (and adventures!) of my life to date, I’m thinking 24 will be a year of exploration, learning curves, new faces, some serious productivity… and, well, a lot more anxiety and uncertainty. That seems to be a constant I don’t see going away any time soon. But I’m in my mid-20s now, so I got this shit. That’s what I’m telling myself, so just go with it.

So as they say in the earthquake drills—drop, cover, and hold on. It’s going to be a wild year.


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  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CASSIE! Hope you have a great day!

  2. Happy birthday, you lovely, bright and eloquent woman, you!

  3. Happy Birthday!

    October birthdays are the bomb and have a safe earthquake drill!

  4. Happy Birthday, my dear! Have a wondrous day.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I feel like I’ve said this a billion times, but I’m so incredibly excited for you to be following your dreams. You’re an inspiration! I hope your day is amazing.

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Well, aren’t you a DOLL. Thank you for your sweet words—they mean a lot and make me feel like I’m doing something right. 🙂

  6. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May year 24 be the best one yet 😀

  7. happy birthday, cassie! i still have no idea what an earthquake feels like. people say it’s kind of like when the table and floor moves when i’m anxiously shaking my leg. 😛 hoping this next year is full of adventure and discovery for you! which i’m sure it will be in a new city. also, you have to let me know your favorite spots. we have to make the most out of our last months here.

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Thanks, Esther! I actually experienced an earthquake a couple of years ago… in Maryland. It did feel just like that! Or like I was hallucinating. It was freaky being in a tall building eight stories up.

      And I’m working on finding some of those good spots! This city is overwhelming with all its options.

  8. HAPPY HAPPY BELATED!!!! Do as many fun things as you can this year!

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