Thursday, July 31, 2014

Love and Happiest of Birthdays to Me

I have been mum about my birthday and it’s quite unusual. If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you would know that July is a month-long celebration for me. I usually don’t have birth “days”. I go all out and have birth “months”.

Well, thirty five is different. 35. Doesn’t it sound so.. ominious? The week of my birthday started out with a blog post like this:

“My birthday week is finally here and I have to be honest, I dread it. If you’ve followed this blog and if you know me, this is mighty unusual. I typically welcome my birthday month with revelry and celebrate the entire month, but this year, I don’t quite have that in me. This is the first year that I’ve had the outlook of lets-just-get-this-over-and-done-with. I am in full blown denial. I’m not used to it myself.

And maybe a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m thirty five in a couple of days. 35. It’s so in-between and I think that is what is so unsettling about it. I look at the prospects ahead and it seems like 35 really is just the age where one cruises until retirement. Yes! I’m such an existential flow that I’m contemplating life’s jarring realities as retirement! On one hand it’s melodramatic, but on the other, it’s practical and oh-so-boring. There are none of the milestones, the crazy must-do’s, the must-haves of the twenties, and even the early 30’s. Because really, when done right, at 35, you would have already done those, had those, bought those. When those have all been ticked off, what remains is just, well, what? Could anyone tell me?”

But I have learned that when I turn into an ungrateful, sourpuss bitch, someone I don’t even want around, I know to count my blessings, and those I have countless of! Between this birthday and my last one, I have traveled to many places in different corners of the world, many of which only existed in my daydreams long ago.
Just a few of my travels in between birthdays: Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, and Puerto Rico
I chose not to have a party this year, the first in a long while. I truly had wanted to evade the birthdayness. I was on full on denial. Yet all along, I just wanted to be on my mountainbike, in solace with nature where the social constructs that I allow to bog me down are absent. On a saddle, in the mountains, freaking biological clocks are silenced shut. It was one hour of “teeter-totters”, a term I’ve stolen from another rider we met on the trail. All it means is plenty of undulation in the hills – up and down and away. The dirt single tracks were narrow and sometimes, a miscalculation would send you careening down a pretty steep hill. It was not entirely running away. It was just being present and allowing an experience to transcend everything else.

On the final day of my birthday month, I do want to make up and feel the gratitude and love that has swung my way. Thank you. I am alive and I never for a second want to take that feeling of really being here for granted. As with every birthday, I resolve to strive to always have that feeling of aliveness, not just mere living. And it is always, always an uphill battle, but my prayer is that I become the best version of myself yet, regardless of circumstance, and to be the kind of person I actually love having around.
A fitting reminder at the cafe where we had lunch after the mountain bike ride
Love and happiest of birthdays to me.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! You've reached the point where you are doing things that you would never have put on your bucket list because you would never have thought of doing them. Now, you put them on the list just so you can check them off. That happened to me at about 45, so you are quite ahead! Oh, imagine the places you will go when you are not constrained by a list!