Birthdays come at a cost now. I remember watching adults freak out over getting older. I just knew I would never be like that. Here we are alive and free knowing perfectly well what a calendar does and still we freak out every time. Why is it so shocking when its set in stone from the day you are born. I promised my self a long time ago I would never be the one to fear my age, to ward off my life experiences. Rather I would celebrate each passing day as if it were a surprise.
My issue with my birthday has nothing to do with that fact that I am actually getting older. The idea that I am “supposed to of” or “should of by now” or “now I am going to be expected to” doesn’t really phase me. I prefer the whole sojouners approach to life. The real issue with my birthday is how it unmistakably marks some really tragic shit. Three years ago while at the Bob Marley Bash I stood on in the corner of the room watching my husband dance with another girl. Not the kind of dancing you want to see the person you love doing with another person. When he saw me and noticed that I was visibly upset he took me outside and insisted that understand he was going to leave me someday. Then he gave me his wedding ring back. Saying it was to help me understand that he didn’t love me anymore.
Shortly after that and a dozen other really painful scenarios I finally packed my bags and hit the road. (Literally. I left in a Winnebago.) I will tell you with out hesitation it was the best decision I have ever made and in the same breathe sometimes it still really hurts. I have grown into someone I proud of since leaving that very abusive relationship. I have given myself the opportunity to live a life full of adventure and love and promise. But every year when this season rolls around it stirs a lot really yucky stuff up. I dread my birthday like the plague. I feel like it would be better to skip over all of the disappointment and feelings of being unloved, undesirable and unworthy.
Two years ago, I ran away to Atlanta to be Casey. I didn’t tell a soul. I hid.
Last year I threw a big party that though it was fun and a lot people I loved came, it was really nerve racking.
This year was different. As it approached I decided to stay calm and make very few plans. I was shocked and humbled by love that I felt. At work I was showered with mimosas from Casey, my desk was covered in flowers, chocolate, and cards. As the day went on I was showered with GF peanut butter cookies, balloons, homemade macaroons, fancy ginger liquor, wine, a million well wishes. I cooked dinner with dear friends and drank far too much champagne. As the day went on the flowers kept coming. I ended up with SIX bouquets of flowers!
I saved this giant sweater, that may or may not have been used for deep sea fishing at one time, for my special day because I knew looking good and feeling good are oh so connected. I feel so thankful to be surrounded with some many good souls. I consider myself lucky to have learned the hard lesson that you can never let someone else determine your value as a person. You must always, above all else, guard your heart.
On this side of 28 I know that my journey is one of healing and restoration. I couldn’t be happier to be on this road less travel.
Black under dress given to me by my friend Tara, necklace from J.Crew gifted to me from my sister (similar here), tights from Dillards, shoes from J.Crew (similar here) and my crazy amazing sweater/dress/fish net given to me by my love Katelynd.
Thank you Casey Yoshida for the photos!