You stir; it’s the morning of your birthday and that’s the first thing that floats into your consciousness. The bed is warm,but your toes are cold – you forgot to wear your socks before sleep came. Blame Blacklist – so engrossed in the show that you were too lazy to grab your cozies. You remember it’s your birthday again, and soon your semi-numb toes are a distant memory.
Your phone; you reach for it. Nothing. Check pillow two? Pillow three? Nothing. God, please don’t let it have fallen during the night. Argh! You’re forced to open one eye. You don’t want to, because it means admitting an awareness of this thing called getting older. Oh well! You have no choice, you have to open your eyes if you’re going to find your phone. Remember it doubles as your time piece, and you need to know how late you’ve slept in on what’s the beginning of your thirty-third year on earth. For a fleeting second, you wonder whether you should get yourself a watch. You hate the full glare of your phone’s LCD – another reason why you can’t wait for the iWatch
Your gym; you promised yourself you’d wake up early enough to make the gym 5 times a week. It is part of your self discovery in the art of dedication and tenacity. You think it is a good trait to have when one is in their early thirties. So, you want to do this. For you. Oh My God! 6.30a.m! You panic at the thought of having overslept, then you remember – the clocks went back yesterday. You can make the gym and come back in time to write Banter. Yes, you can!
Growing up, I was told over and over and over, that birthdays are no achievements. It was drummed into my ears so many times that I have become that adult who never gets excited about her birthday, or anyone else’s. I was told that I neither participated in the decision to bring me into this world, nor did I make any conscious effort to ensure that the birthing was successful, thus, I was not entitled to celebrate any achievement on the 27th of October. So year, rolled into year and I did what I was ‘allowed’ to do. Be grateful to my creator for the privilege of existence and preservation. I stopped praying for ‘long life’ for personal reasons. It didn’t matter one way or the other – it was more pertinent that the years count for something regardless of their number – something that transcends my lifetime.
The mirror; at some point in the day you find yourself staring at it. You see the woman staring back at you and you wonder if she’s anything like the person inside of you. She looks familiar. Same round head, same natural hair with eroded edges. Lord! when will these edges fill out? You look closer and you see a neck that is longer and more defined than it was 8 months ago. You smile – the first one since the dawn of the day. You remember that this is the slimmest you have been since you were 18. You stand, arms akimbo and you think about the work that needs to be done on your arms. Still, you’re pleased with the reward of your hard work and dedication. You tuck in your almost smug smile, you don’t want the Universe to think you’re a gloating irritant.
The suitcases; three of them littered around your room, waiting for you to give them attention. As much as you hate packing, it has to be done. Another phase of your life is over; you chuckle at the melodrama of it all. As one door shuts, another one opens. Or something along those lines. You can’t think that far ahead because you’re afraid. You’re afraid of the monster of failure. What if you end up being poor for the rest of your life? What if you’re that friend who keeps trying to keep her head above the water and nobody bothers to call for a contribution to help dying children? But… you hear it – it’s a still small whisper. What if you do make it? What if you do find a way to do what you love to do, and are financially rewarded for it? What if you do make bucketloads of money?
The silence; broken by the loud hum of the kettle which you clicked on because you need your morning fix of coffee. No! Not coffee. You are on a coffee detox. Tea. Green tea. With cinnamon sticks and star anise seeds with a dash of lemon. Okay, more than a dash. A proper squeeze through. But, ‘dash’ sounds more like what a writer would write. Right?
So what exactly are birthdays if they’re not to be celebrated as achievements? It’s a day for you to take stock – how far you’ve come, where you are, and where you hope to be.
I have come to realise that contrary to what was ingrained in me, I can choose a reason to celebrate my birthday. For starters, it’s a time for me to bask in the glory of ME!
Your birthday is that one day of the year when everything you do has a special tone to it. It is that one day when people who love you send you messages and gifts and ensure that you know that someone somewhere loves you. It’s that one day when you are totally allowed to be self-centred, because it’s your freaking birthday.
Peace, love & cabbage strips!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Wavebreakmedia Ltd