Happy Birthday to Me

I’m one of those people who loves celebrations. Birthdays, weddings, baptisms, graduations, baby showers, I just love them! Celebrating my loved one’s happiness, accomplishments, and choices brings me unending joy. Engaging in a ritual or ceremony that honors love and joy and positivity is important. It’s how we breed more of it in our world. Plus, being able to express my love and support of my people out loud, with others who love them too, while we all drink wine and eat dessert? What could be better?

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Me literally raising my glass high as I could at my best friend’s wedding (while, I’m sure, tears were streaming down my face). photo credit: Aya Soto

I’m now gaining insight into why I always hop on the party planning committee of any group project of which I am a part.

Though I am shy about a lot of things, this love of celebrations absolutely applies to my own birthday. (Which is today!) I don’t mean to say I always jump out of planes  (see: 30th birthday),

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30th Birthday!

or have amazing surprise parties (see: 24th birthday),

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24th Birthday! Check out those bangs, oh yeah.

but I do so enjoy the fun and the glitz that comes along with birthdays.

I was born, let’s party!

But because I am a Gemini, and we are dual at all times, I also use my birthday as a personal touchstone. I find that reflecting on the uncomfortable questions that come up help me to forge ahead with a sense of a fresh start.

What have I changed since last year? What do I want to change by next year? What have I learned? Am I ready to change my hair? (YES) What does [insert age] mean to me? What are my goals for my personal life? Professional life? Mom life? How am I different? How am I the same? Am I closer to my goals this year than I was last year? Has it really been THAT LONG since I [insert milestone]?

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Wishing Hard

It often takes me a long time to answer these questions for the coming year, but it is a total treat to look back on the previous year and acknowledge both my wins and my obstacles.

My Biggest Wins 

I am finally not sleep-deprived (in the same way as having an infant, anyway).

I am writing again. Last year at this time, I hadn’t written in over a year. My soul was shriveling. In nourishing my artistic spirit, I am unbelievably more fulfilled (and a better mother as a result).

I feel so good about the status of my friendships. One of the biggest changes for me in becoming a mom had to do with not knowing how to be a good friend anymore. I gave all of that nurturing and supportive energy to my child. Not that I shouldn’t have, but I needed to figure out a way to also be a participant in my friendships again. I’m not perfect at it, but I’m a lot better now than I was a year ago. My friends mean so much to me, so to have more to give to them is a true and blessed change.

I am more confident as a mother. I am more fulfilled as a mother. I am more than I was in every way.

Another year down, and my husband and I haven’t killed each other or left each other or hurt each other beyond repair. Conversely, he made me a “mix tape” playlist of all the songs that remind him of me or us for my birthday today. Like, calm down, Honey, are you trying to be the best ever because YOU ARE and I’m so fucking grateful.

My Biggest Obstacles

I have a long way to go in getting back on track in my career. It is no small thing to take years off to have children. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I know that I’m going to keep trying.

I don’t take as good physical care of myself as I would like. I used to be pretty diligent about exercise because it helps me manage my anxiety, but there’s just been no time. Or rather, I’ve made no time for it. So I hope to change that in the coming year.

Finding balance is still a major struggle.

Finances. Bleh.

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Obstacles? Whatever, let’s party

Ultimately, I have so many goals and dreams and wishes for the coming year that I have enough for every candle. A year from today, I’ll write another one of these and hope that my wins column is twice as long as my obstacles.

Until then, I’m gonna primp for the birthday soiree that I’m throwing for myself (because when you’re in your thirties you feel comfortable enough to do that) and start chilling the champagne.

7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me

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  1. I loved reading this, Eva. Remembering our brief time together running and I believe singing in Damn Yankees. Happy birthday, mama. These kiddos become more independent and helpful each year, freeing up a wee bit more for parents to take care of themselves. Big wishes and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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