As I wind down this day celebrating my long-ago de-wombing, drinking peach-flavored carbonated water and watching "Mork & Mindy", (don't ask me why, because I have no idea), I've been reflecting on birthdays in general.
When you're a kid, your birthday is the greatest day EVER. You wake up, birds sing, the sun shines, and then begins a series of cleverly choreographed musical numbers in which your family and friends sing about how awesome it is that you're another year older. Generally this is all interspersed with presents, special meals, and cake. Possibly, if your parents were extra awesome, ice cream cake.
As time marches on however, a strange phenomenon occurs. Our birthdays start to become less and less important. Somewhere in your late twenties, when all your friends can't make your birthday dinner (dinner, not party), and you get more cards than presents, you start realize that your birthday is no longer the greatest day EVER. Or rather, it probably never was. You're just finally at an age when your loved ones don't feel like they have to fake caring anymore.
And that all sounded way more cynical than I meant it to. My bad. Today was kind of a whirlwind of emotions for me. After a really good weekend of hanging out with friends and doing fun stuff like seeing Pat Benatar sing, I didn't really have anything special planned for today. But no matter what, you always wake up on your birthday feeling like, "Something awesome is going to happen today. Because it's my BIRTHDAY."
There were parts of my day that were very good. My free birthday Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks rocked the cashbah. I found an awesome basket on sale at Michaels. I got to spend some time this evening with one of my besties, and I got a phone call from another one. I tried some yummy frozen yogurt. I started reading a very enjoyable book. And I got an overwhelming amount of love on my Facebook wall.
Alas, today I found out that I didn't qualify for a sorely-needed bank loan. And in the span of the same hour, I also found out that one of my uncles is very near death. He's been fighting cancer, and has taken a turn for the worse.
So. . .yeah. Getting news like that, well, let's just say it's been difficult to focus on anything else. Facing the mortality of loved ones is something with which I've had all too much familiarity. I've found myself wishing that I could press a rewind button on life today. That I could go back in time, and instead of celebrating 32, I could celebrate 9 again. The year I got an awesome Kodak camera, a birthday party with my friends, and a really yummy ice cream cake. Or 16, when my mom got me 16 beautiful blue-colored roses. Because she knew blue was my favorite color. Or 18, when my parents took me, and a bunch of my friends to the Virginia Renaissance festival and I got to pick out a costume to wear.
It's not about the stuff. . .it's about the feelings. Those days made me feel special. Made me feel alive. Today. . .I am deflated.
Maybe I'm being dramatic? Life happens. People get older. My day was not devoid of love. I'm grateful for the friends and family I have. Truly I am. I guess I just wanted a break today. A break from how difficult everything has been lately. I'm kind of tired of life kicking my ass.
So, in an attempt to salvage the last twenty minutes of my birthday, I'm going to curl up with my puppy dog and the book I mentioned earlier. I'll try for optimism again tomorrow. . .