My 24th Birthday and Me, Me, Me

This is a post about myself.  I just needed to forewarn everyone.  If you are not interested in hearing me talk about my life, I will certainly not be offended if you close the tab now.  I’ll also never know if you do, so there’s that.

In my last post, I mentioned that I only want to write about something I’m passionate about.  Then I turned 24, and had every intention to write a long blog about how much I love my family and friends, and how much I owe the past–well, entirety of my life to the people who have made it wonderful.

The thing is, though, birthdays are hard.  It’s all fun and games (and booze, and cake, and confetti) until you find a quiet moment to yourself and are forced to acknowledge the fact you are yet one more year older and perhaps haven’t accomplished all you’d like to have done by now.  I’m 24, and I’m still single?  I’m 24, and I’m not a rock star?  I’m 24, and I don’t feel the slightest bit like I have my shit together?  When I was a kid, I had plans for my twenties, and here I am almost halfway through them with little to show for it.  Life just, I guess, got in the way of those plans.

EDIT: I know I have A LOT to show for myself.  Just accept the dramatics.

I was home this past weekend, not only for my birthday, but also to attend a beautiful funeral service.  I don’t need to tell anyone what those are like (and if I do, you are incredibly blessed), but what struck me the most was how much of a celebration of life it turned out to be.  It is incredibly heartbreaking to watch the loved ones of the deceased have to say their final goodbyes, and to say your own, but it was also a kick in the pants to remind yourself that life goes on.  This person lived a truly astounding 93 years, and in his final days, he was surrounded by people who loved and admired him for the love and admiration he provided in return.  We  mourn that those we lose are no longer with us, but we should also be grateful for all the memories we have of and with these people–the way they cared for us; they ways we cared for them.

Okay, circling back.

This particular birthday was difficult for me because with this newfound adulthood, with my new job, with the more permanent move to the DC area, I have felt a profound sense of separation  that has been very hard to shake.  And for the anniversary of the completion of my 24th year of life, [not a particularly important year, but a year nonetheless], I realized how increasingly difficult it is to tell and to show the people in my life that I am too grateful, too overwhelmed with love for all the love I have received thus far.  I am neither typically a show-er, nor a teller;; anyone who has tried to have a phone conversation with me can attest to the latter (in my defense, I have trouble hearing people over the phone–I don’t know why).  I get too wound up in my own feelings to actually be able to share them with others.  This inability to communicate has lost me many things and many people, but it is a part of who I am (and something, I swear, I am working on).  So when the morning of my 24th birthday arrived, and I realized I could not, with any success, tell it on the mountain and get everyone I know in a room together to say THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME BE IN YOUR LIFE AND THUS CHANGING MINE, it was a little bit of a bummer.

I have an incredible flair for the dramatic, and I’m also very privileged to even have this as a problem.  I’m aware.  But as a birthday present to myself, I decided to allow myself to have these feelings and not push them down.  That being said:

THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME BE IN YOUR LIFE AND THUS CHANGING MINE.  I don’t think my birthday is about me.  I think it’s about my friends and family and gratitude [and picking out Christmas trees, and Boston Cream Pie, and sister-made gingerbread].

When it is time for me to reach the Pearly Gates, or the land of Nutella, or whatever else will happen when the fates cut my cord, I know that I have at least 24 solid years of memories to bring with me.

So, thank you.

Now I’m starving.

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2 Responses to My 24th Birthday and Me, Me, Me

  1. Dawn Engler says:

    Coming from your older, and definitely no wiser than you are at this moment, aunt…

    Always LOVE who you are, and let the others work their way in and around that. You have lost nothing, but what needed to be lost, and you have nothing that you don’t need to have. Every step before now, and every step from now on, is the exact step that it should be.

    All of us in your life are blessed!

    (I love your reflections! I do them all the time and then I have to remind myself all of the above.)

  2. Pingback: The Birthday blog post | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

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