No one actually hates birthdays. I have “hated” mine forever, but really I just find it uncomfortable and I don’t like people singing happy birthday. Are you Justin Timberlake? If you are, go ahead and sing; if not, keep your mouth closed.

This year I realized that having everyone ignore my birthday is not the way to solve the awkwardness. While biking I had a lot of time to think, and I decided that all anyone wants is proof that their friends and family think about them. A card being passed around is enough; just something that says, hey, I knew it was your birthday without Facebook. A text is a lot, these days, even.

Which leads me to tonight, two weeks after my birthday, when my sister was adamant we skype.

“You and me, 10 pm your time, tonight,” she said this morning.

“I have a happy hour, but whatever,” I said. My friend, Ben, is in town, so I didn’t want to rush home to talk to my sister who I am in constant contact with. Leah is currently living with my best friend, Alex, so I talk to the two of them even more it seems, as of late.

I got home around 11 p.m., and after many failed attempts, we got Skype to work.

“Tell us about your bike trip,” Leah said.

This surprised me, because all I do is talk about the trip, so normally no one goes out of their way to ask.

We have nothing to talk about, I thought to myself. So I started on about panniers and fundraising and all the things I need.

Then it happened. All of a sudden Leah said something about twenty of your friends… and roommates, and birthday… And then Heidi and Nicole, two of my roommates, walked into the kitchen with a box for me.

“What do you think it is?” Alex asked.

The last time I saw a box this size was when I ordered a cup off the internet, so that’s all I could think of.

By this point I was already crying. The list on the box had around 20 names of people I care about, and it is an amazing thing to think that all of them took the time to participate in getting me something.

Then I opened it.

And I saw it was a GoPro.

And I cried a lot more.

All I can say is that I have an amazing sister for organizing this, and amazing roommates and friends for helping her pull it off. And I cannot wait to film everything on the trip to help document it.

“It’s so we can all see you fall off your bike,” Alex said.

So to everyone who contributed, Thank You. And I look forward to using the GoPro to help tell our story and spread the word about The Bridge School. Once I figure out how it works.

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