Today is my 35th birthday.
I debated whether or not to even mention it, because I’ve never been huge on celebrating my birthday. But, I’m still sheltering-in-place, and well, why not mention it?
To be honest, I always get a little sentimental, sometimes even depressed (Charlie Brown style) around my birthday. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it has something to do with thinking about where I am in life vs. where I thought I’d be… that type of thing.
In college, I thought I had everything planned out — work, relationships, family. But after a few years in a 9-5 job, it was pretty easy to see that things weren’t going to go as planned; partly because that’s not how things work and partly because I wanted something different for myself.
Over the years, I’ve chipped away at these pressures society places on us to be a certain way by a certain age. It’s all bullshit, and really I’m just on a constant journey to treat myself right and scrape together enough cash to pay rent and keep it moving.
Before I wrote this, I sifted through old blog posts to see what I’d written about near previous birthdays. I hadn’t written anything since my 30th birthday, likely because 30 is a pretty monumental one.
On my 30th birthday, I was still living in Baton Rouge. I’d been out of a full-time job for 8 months and was working three retail jobs to try and pay for my apartment.
My friend took me out for a nice dinner and drinks, and we had a lot of fun — I still remember the hangover the next day. But I also remember how hard I had to work to pay my bills, often not knowing if I was going to be able to pay them all. I had managers that treated employees like shit, and I had to fake a smile for 60+ hours a week.
I’ve come a long way since then, and although at times I miss the circle of friends I’d grown in Louisiana, I know I was drawn to Texas for a bit of a fresh start.
In my almost five years in Texas, I’ve continued to learn more about myself and what I want out of life. And although it kind of sucks to spend a birthday sheltering-in-place, I feel like this year is a true test of my ability to find the silver lining and make it work.
My birthday number is 2 and according to numerology, that means I have a great talent for finding solutions (find your birthday number and meaning here).
I know I do not have all the answers right now. Most days, I just push myself to take the next step. I get out of bed, I start doing things on my list, and I keep telling myself to move forward. Keep carrying on.
For the last few birthdays, I’ve just sort of lumped things in to July 4th and rented a paddle board or a kayak and have paddled downtown to watch the fireworks.
It’s something I’ve really enjoyed doing and I look forward to it every year. In Texas, COVID has been spreading rapidly, and Austin city officials have warned us that we could be without hospital capacity as early as next week.
So, businesses are closing again, right along with public parks and trails. I don’t know if there will be fireworks or… much of anything.
But, my plan is to get takeout from one of my favorite restaurants and go for a walk. I bought ingredients to make a coconut cake the last time I went to the store 🙂 and I’ll probably have some rose on my patio. There’s also a stack of gifts that have arrived at my doorstep.
It’s going to be a good day, and a nice long weekend.
Cheers to so many of us who’ve had a birthday in Quarantine — I never even knew that was a thing, but that’s 2020 for ya!
To see more writing from me, be sure to subscribe to The Bitter Lemon by clicking “subscribe” on the right side of your screen. Want even more? Subscribe to my newsletter to get roundups, book recs and lifestyle tips.
Thank you!! 🤩🥳