October 25, 2011

Another Trip Around The Sun

So, 356 days later, we’re back in the same spot in space on our trip around the sun.  It’s my birthday.  As of 9:59, more than a few decades ago, my 22 year old mother pushed me out of her body and onto a helluva journey.  What’s changed besides the year?  Well, lots, actually.  And so much has stayed the same.   

I woke up this morning feeling a little, well, not myself.  I remember back to last year, the emotions attached to watching as my age clicked over another year on my dating site profile, and how that somehow felt like failure.  Another year, and another reminder that despite really liking people, and wanting to have them in my life, something about me just …  Didn’t work the way it was advertised in the brochure.    

Those same frustrations were there again this morning, when I woke up, surrounded by the assortment of furry kids.  (Don’t tell my roommate, but I kinda like having his dog in the same room as me. He’s a cuddler, and I was just in that mood.)  Not unlike those over-sized Mario foes, the Chain Chomps, I had ugly, evil thoughts bouncing around my head, leaving tooth marks on the walls of my brain, and chain grease on the carpets.  

“You’re a year older and you’re still single.  You’re a pied piper for freaks, or a two date weirdo.  You’re going to die popular, but miserably alone.”  "You're a flash in the pan."   “You’re living in a couple rooms in someone else’s house.  Can’t even get your your own place.  Loser.”  “Nobody but your mother cares if you’re doing something for your special day.  You’re going to be sitting across the table from your parents on a pity date with them forever.”  “You’re a clown.  People only ask you to come to their events so they can wind you up and see what mischief you get in to.  Face it.  They don’t really like you, you’re just cheaper than hiring a DJ.”  “You’ve been so out of sight because of the house, and stress making you want to be a homebody, people have forgotten you.  They’ll move on and leave you in the middle of the street, so you can watch them ride off down the block.”  

My internal monologue has been taking lessons from Miss Hannigan, it seems.

It wasn’t until after I’d been at work for a little over 45 minutes that I realized Chain Chomps are named as such, because they’re on a leash.  All I had to do was take a couple steps back.  Those thoughts only have the power that’s given to them, much like the imaginary enemies can only bite what’s within reach.  While those thoughts had a seed of truth, they grew from salted land and were distorted.  Yes, I’m renting a room.  But, I’m in a house, with a garage, and my dogs, and I’m not over extended to do so.  Sure, by this age, there’s a certain expectation that if you’re not under your own roof, you’re a failure.  But, my thinking is that this is a holding pattern, not a new way of life.  Therein lies the distinction.  

Sure, dating has been full of *cough* colorful characters.  I never expected hanging out the single flag and meeting someone would be easy.  And it really hasn’t been.  Some of it, I blame on myself, and some of it I know I can rest on the shoulders of the other involved parties.  Sure, I’m frustrated.  But, I’m not yet bitter, so I guess that’s a positive.  Here’s another important fact; yes, because of my dating escapades over the last year or so, I do have stories that sound like lies, but I’ve also met some people very dear to me though OKCupid.  I suppose that I had to add to the crazy coffer to balance the scales when it came to meeting the ones who have a place in my life.  Only seems fair.  Besides, if my career as a government help desk employee doesn’t pan out, I can always write a book about my 30s, right?

It might be fleeting, but my social networking page has been full of people wishing me a happy birthday.  I know it doesn’t take much, but that’s kinda the point, I guess.  It’s just enough to know that someone’s thinking about you, but it’s not too much effort for them to let you know about it.  It’s enough.  Thanks for that, especially those who took a moment to write something personal.  It really helped my mood, and I appreciate that.

Though, I have a few people I really need to thank individually.  

To Froshaka, thank you for the flowers.  (You’re the first person outside of my ex-husband to send me any, actually.)  I’m happy to have been your confidante, your sounding board, and your co-conspirator.  

To Greyson, your unexpected gift and e-card wishing me a happy birthday made me smile.  But, your friendship, understanding, knowledge, and steady nature have been your best gift to me.  Thank you for taking a risk and sticking out those first, awkward months of friendship, and every day since then.

And finally, to Propecia Louise, thank you for the gift that you hand delivered to me at work today.  Having you drop by kicked my day into a better, sunnier mood.  But then again, that's kinda what you do.  You give it right back to me, and tell it like it is, even when I don't want to hear it, or might not be all that graceful about what I need to hear.  Thanks for that.  I’m jealously guarding the cupcakes, and defending your choice in balloons to all who accuse me of being a Justin Bieber fan.  It’s really been the talk of the office. 

Angsty cabin fever and uncharacteristic emotional thank yous aside, my apologies to everyone whom I haven’t seen nearly enough in the past few months.  I’ve broken one of my promises to you and myself this year when I said I’d work on being a more reliable friend.  Thank you for sticking around anyway.  Here’s to another year of mischief, spit takes, and joi de vivre.


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