This is the excerpt for your very first post.
It’s my birthday!
“And we’re going to party, like it’s my birthday…”
Actually, we’re not, and I’m glad.
Honey Latte. Pain (pronounced pan not pane!) au chocolate. Creating a blog. This is how I choose to begin my 34th year.
I reflect on what has transpired since June 17, 1982.
…from my childhood in Virginia Beach, VA through beaucoup stops along the way that led to this calm and sunny morning in Spokane, WA.
Gemini. The constellation takes its name from twins Castor and Polysomething. Personally, I don’t believe in the signs of the zodiac, but I have always related to the idea of a conflict between who I am and who I am perceived to be, a struggle between what my head thinks is socially accepted, or expected of me by others, and how I feel.
Maybe this is why my birthday brings a mixture of excitement and pressure. Who doesn’t want to be celebrated? Who doesn’t love a day dedicated to them? This may come as a surprise to some, but I don’t actually like being the center of attention.
I play that role for you. It comes naturally at times. It fuels my pride, and it makes me feel uncomfortable, still I perform well when I believe it is expected. It brings joy to others, and a bit of unpredictable to those around me. And I like blessing them, and I feel like I’m loving them. Or am I trying to earn their love?
People ask: “What do you want to do for your birthday?” I hear: “I assume and expect you to include me in your plan and give me your time.” I think: “I will offend you if I tell you the truth.” I feel: conflicted.
Truth? I actually prefer nothing from you. I wish you would understand. And I feel confused because what you see as a gift of your time to me feels like an expectation from me. And because I love to invest time in people, just not today.
Today, I want to sip coffee slowly while the sun illuminates a magnificent view of our beautiful city outside the window. I want to browse the book store because just seeing books makes me smile. Take a walk, try a new restaurant, take the day as it comes. I just want to be me.
My truth feels controversial because what I actually want is potentially at odds with what others would want. Some ask: “Why would you choose to spend time alone? On your birthday? When others want to celebrate you?”
Suddenly, a special day seems to require me to change all the rhythms I like. Eat big portions and extra sugar when I prefer several, smaller, relatively healthy meals throughout the day. Squeeze in time with many when I like unhurried, one-on-one conversations. Overload my schedule with back-to-back activities and deplete my energy instead of feel energized.
Maybe it’s all in my head, or maybe there is a difference between loving others and the way they receive love. Maybe your perception of me and what you think I would want to do for my birthday is incongruous with what I actually want. Maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do. Maybe I just want to live today like any other day because I love my life and because I’ve learned that boundaries are an important part of it.
Next year, maybe I will feel different. Maybe I’ll invite a bunch of friends over for a BBQ. But until then, why not do what I actually want to do today? Because some days, the best gift I can give myself, from you, is space and time to listen to my own thoughts. Even if that day happens to fall on my birthday. And that is okay. Isn’t it? 🙂