Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Year Older

There are certain dates that are bound to make you introspective, such as New Year's Eve and Christmas, and for me, I can't help but to use my birthday as the day I evaluate the 364 previous days (365 in a leap year) with an impractical amount of scrutiny.

Every year on the eve of the day of my birth, I think back on the past year: what has defined it for me, what I have accomplished, how I have changed and grown, and what I hope is in store in the coming year. And this year is no different, so if you can't deal with sentimentality, I'd recommend reading something else.

I had a really, really interesting and eventful year. It was first full year that I was neither in school nor working a full-time job. This means that I got the requisite eight hours of sleep a night for the first time in my life, and I seriously have to recommend it to everyone. It's awesome. Don't hate me.

It also meant that I had the opportunity to live a full social life, which included far too much alcohol and going out too many nights past dawn. In the excitement of my lack of a job, I went out every night for a few weeks before my immune system and exhaustion shut that down. But boy was it fun while it lasted.

And I learned the very important lesson that Tuesday nights out can actually be more fun than weekends! There are better happy hour drink specials, the bars aren't crowded, and there are a surprising amount of groups of available men hanging out.

That isn't to say that I just met guys. I met some amazing people this past year and I made some great friends, who I'm excited to not only spend my birthday with, but many years to come.

I also met some truly shitty people and had to figure out who my true friends were. But even that was a lesson in itself. No matter how much faith you put in people sometimes, they are just bad people and no amount of kindness will ever make them change or regret their actions. In those cases, you just have to be the bigger person, cry over the pain that they have caused you, wish them the best, and move on.

There was a lot of moving on for me, with friends, with my parents finally accepting my choice to be a writer, with ex-boyfriends. I'm somewhat amazed that I got through it all; although I couldn't have without relying on my sister E and adopted brother L.

My accomplishments weren't limited to staying out late and drinking: in between all that drinking, I managed to squeeze in the time to write my first novel and a few short stories. And I am absurdly, obscenely, over-the-top proud of that fact. I had always wanted to write a novel, one I think is funny and smart and deep and interesting, all in one, and I hope that I attained that to some degree.

I fell in love this year, even though I hadn't been sure I was capable of it. But somehow, against the odds, I did. And the few months I spent with him were snippets of the healthiest relationship I've ever been in my life. And the week we spent together in the Canary Islands in Spain was quite plainly, heaven on earth.

I look back at the components of this year, so many events and feelings, trying to fit them into some cohesive picture of what my twenty-fifth year was, and in the end, even though there were some times I was devastated, overwhelmed, sad, and confused, for the most part I was pretty serene and...happy. This was the year that I learned how to be happy, happy with my life, happy with myself, just happy. It sounds so easy when typed out: happy, but it took me so long to get there. And I couldn't feel better now that I am.

And considering this is getting far too sappy for even my own taste, I would like to include a humorous anecdote but unfortunately the only one I can remember right now is the time I locked myself out of my apartment and had to ride down to the lobby in my pink flannel pajamas barefoot and of course had to ride up with a really hot guy.

He looked down at my feet and said, "Wow, you are daring to be walking around barefoot," and I had to explain I was the idiot who got locked out of her apartment and was still in her pajamas at 4:30PM. I got dressed and rode the elevator six extra times that day in the hopes that I would run into him while I was actually clothed and wearing makeup, but alas, he didn't show.

So now, I will go out with my loved ones and eat, drink, and be merry, and celebrate, this the day I was expelled from my mother's uterus. And my birthday wish will be that every year from now on just keeps getting better.

Happy Birthday to me!

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