Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April Showers bring May, and Summer, Flowers

I feel noticeably better today, almost intensely so, than yesterday. Yesterday, as I struggled to appreciate, as I wanted to cry, as I got angry at sadness.

I became angry, because what do I have to be sad about? I had just come off of three days full of birthday celebrations. Friends joined me playing board games, drinking wine, made me cake, gave me thoughtful (and incredible) gifts, made me pancakes, joined me in Milwaukee for ice cream, bought me drinks, went dancing, drove me back, then celebrated again. Friends sent me cards and letters and notes and texts and reached out in all these various ways to say, Happy Birthday (or, I Love You). It was fantastic.

I love my birthday with the enthusiasm you'd expect of a child, and have for as long as I can remember. Age has not diminished the excitement that builds towards April 9th, except that I've learned to no longer count the days down from 100. However, I have wondered why I care so much about my birthday, when it seems most children grow out of the crazed excitement. I've lost a job on my birthday, had a pet die when younger, and even missed out on an anticipated adventure, yet still been steadfast in my excitement for the day. And why?

I think it's love. I think that my birthday is the one day of the year when everyone reaches out to express their feelings for me, in little and big ways, all at once. With Happy Birthdays, with cards, with cakes and gifts or nothing at all. I can, without shame, dwell and smile and celebrate in the love and admiration. I can expect these things, and I can enjoy them. I can be loved, and love in return, and it feels normal and okay.

And maybe this should feel normal and okay everyday. Maybe I shouldn't need one single day to feel okay with being loved, with being important to people, with being a friend that's appreciated. Maybe I can work to see this type of love in the everyday, in the small ways, in the texts and the notes and the adventures that don't fall on April 9th. And maybe that sadness is this. Maybe it's knowing what could and should be, and how that deep kind of thoughtful, heart heavy work is never done. Some days I may cry in the face of nothing to cry about. I may not see or appreciate or believe what I'm told, what I know is true. But at least on those days, I can remember birthdays. And birthday like days. And all of those little ways we're connected, that we love, that we're human with each other.

Everyday can be celebrated like my birthday.