I love birthdays. It's your own, individually wrapped, national holiday. OK so you're not a dead President and nobody takes off work to celebrate with you (unless it's on a weekend or they are just awesome). But birthdays should be celebrated big and loud and wonderfully no matter how old or young you are.
Today is not my birthday. It's two stupid days before it. It's as about as significant as the day before Christmas Eve. I did the same thing I do everyday. Got up, went for a run, came home, took a nap, showered and all by noon. I don't have much money as a consequence of being unemployed and on unemployment (which barely covers the bills, but DOES cover the bills), but I do have time.
Time is a tricky gift. When you don't have enough of it you'd do just about anything to get more of it. When you have too much of it you'd do just about anything to fill it. On any given day I spend too much time looking in a mirror - a luxury I hardly indulged in when I had to go to work everyday and wear a uniform. Today I spent a long time doing my hair and make-up (only to take a second nap and ruining my efforts). I wasn't planning on going anywhere, but I knew that if I tried to write today I would end up drowning in a pool of self loathing. I know myself well enough to know that when this swan dive took place I would start picking myself apart starting with my imaginary weight problem, moving on to my weird eyebrows, then the fact that I don't have any clothes because I sold, donated or shipped them home and on and on and on. To combat this I spent a little extra time on my hair and make-up so when the breakdown over a blank computer screen pushed me to the edge I'd look in the mirror and at least feel pretty before my evil twin took over my thoughts.
I'm supposed to go hang out with friends this evening and at least my hair and make-up is somewhat done (as done as it's going to get anyways). I haven't written a thing other than this post and I successfully avoided a complete breakdown by not opening a blank Word document on my computer. Instead I took a second nap, talked to my Pops, sorted a stack of papers on the table and wrote this post. Tomorrow is my Birthday Eve, which is as every bit as fun and exciting as Christmas Eve. I will again try to avoid self loathing thoughts of all of the million and one things I have not done with my life, because they are not nearly as important as the million and one things I have done with my life. I turn 28 again this year (had a problem with math last year) and I will spend the day with wonderful friends and an amazing boyfriend and put off all feelings of failure and self-hate until Monday (Sunday is a day of rest after all). On Monday I will have to do my hair and make-up only to sit at the table by myself. I will have survived one of the hardest days of the year - the day before the day before your birthday when it's too early to celebrate, but not too early to think about your life. I will muster the strength to take on the second hardest day of the year - the day after my birthday. The day after the celebration and excitement. It's the day of letting go and acceptance. On Monday, after I run, shower and nap, I will have to look in the mirror, as naked as the day I was born, and accept myself and my life for exactly what it is and not what I want it to be. Then I will have to dig down deep and find the courage to change it and make it the life I want it to be before next year's birthday.