The idea of 35 was a scary concept to me, until I found the right way to celebrate it.
I know it's not an age found at the end of one's life, but 35 felt like it was a milestone that signified, well, all work and no play. It's easy to get into the mindset that a woman in her mid-30s -- and men -- are now meant to be wise, and prepare to pass it on to younger generations. You're on your way to 40 and your 20s are way behind you. Good thing? Depends on your perspective.
I was dreading it, until I found a way that made me look forward to my birthday. It had to be something special, awesome, and connect to my ideas. What would a music-loving, socially conscious, giving, website-creating individual such as myself like? Then I found it! I was researching a catch-up article on a band I simply adore, and found out they did house parties. Despite their fame worldwide and their talents that seems to know no bounds, the BordererS remain connected to social issues, work tirelessly to support good causes, show appreciation for their fans, and always give the best performance they can. It has been many years they have traveled the world, sharing their work, and I was writing to document their journey from humble beginnings when I met them when I was 14 years old.
At that time, the BordererS were assisting promoting music and creativity through schools and I was selected by my music teacher to attend the songwriting workshop they were holding. I remember being so unorganised for once, quickly scribbling lyrics to a song I had been working on because I'd forgotten the book I wrote my lyrics in. The lyrics had been practiced with its own roughly-created music I had written, but in their hands, it was a masterpiece. Their talent was picking up the lyrics we'd bought along, taking 30 seconds to discuss music style and key and then improvising a song from it. I was amazed at how quick they could construct something you could enjoy.
Over the years I've kept up to date with their work, so when I found out they were doing house parties / private parties, it intrigued me. What would it be like to see them in person again? I had to find out. I spoke to Jim and Alex, about the day of my birthday. They were very gracious. Concert via Skype was suggested by me, due to timing, as they had packing and travelling for their next gig when I asked to book. So the idea was born. They asked if I had any special requests such as songs, or special things they could do to make my day awesome. I said that I loved animals, and if they had pets, I'd love to see them.
So, March 9, I had the BordererS at my house, via Skype, and they were even better in private performance. Jim and Alex shared anecdotes about their journey as a world band, I could ask questions if something interested me, and I got to choose some of the songs they played. They are funny, adorable, inspirational and truly talented performers. I've always loved their music, so I might be biased, but often their music sounds better live than on CD. They are very conscious of world issues and very knowledgeable, so you're sure to walk away with a fascinating story you didn't know of previously. Food for the ears, soul, and brain!
I'm including some videos below of the experience. Alex and Jim were so sweet to buy me a cake with candles! Alex is sneaky! I thought she'd gone off-screen to get a drink, while Jim just made a joke about how he was going to become a solo act, trying to sing songs he wouldn't normally lead. I should have known they had a surprise! The sentiment was adorable, as was their putting up pink balloons, BordererS poster, and my name in a green tinsel "S."
Okay, so I might be a little biased, already loving their music, but ask yourself as you watch the video, is there someone in your life who would enjoy this surprise? Imagine if you invited them to your house for a coffee, having already arranged for the BordererS to call you on Skype to perform, your laptop suddenly ringing nearby. Your BordererS-loving friend or family member would be as awestruck as I was to speak to them and have them perform all my favourite songs from their long-running career. It's so awesome, I just had to share.
May all your days be filled with music!
Raise Your Hands Up - Live