As I sit here listening to the sounds of the rain against my window, the splatter and spitter of it all, I am overwhelmed with a great sense of disbelief. Today is my birthday and I’m not sure why, but it feels really fucking strange.
I was my parents miracle baby. After many complications and miscarriages, I was the only baby that my parents had that survived. I was born on the same date as my dad’s birthday within the same month as my mum’s, the amalgamation of two individuals’ hopes and prayers for a kid. I never understood what that truly meant when I was younger. It never occurred to me that my birthday was such a special day, not because it was the day I popped out of another human, but because of what it represented for my parents, two amazing people who had struggled so much to bring me into this world and then to fill my future in the world with as many possibilities as was within their physical capabilities. Even some that went beyond what they could accomplish.
Like most youngens, I spent my teens being, well a dumbass teenager, and my twenties were the purgatory of consequences that stemmed from many mistakes. Because of all that, I got a late start on really “beginning” my life as an adult. If I take a moment and look at when life actually started to take shape for me in a conceivably realistic and sincere manner, I’d only really be six years old. In a lot of ways, I am emotionally immature. There were plenty of extenuating circumstances that prevented me from maturing like what would be construed as “normal” folx around my age group.
I bring this up because I honestly never felt like I was meant for anything special. In my own eyes, I was a disappointment for my parents, a waste of a miracle baby. When my heart officially started going kaput to the point of what I believed was no return (October 2019), I felt so incredibly depressed. I didn’t accomplish a single goddamn worthy thing in my existence. The only thing I had done that would be remotely considered a “success” was graduating high school a year early while I was 16 years old with a 4.0 GPA. I was even offered the Valedictorian thingymajiggy, but due to absolute horrifying stage fright, I turned it down (something I don’t regret at all; straight up, not sad about it one fucking bit), granted I never told my mum about that…oops. Aside from that, all I had in my book of life was a failed, traumatic and incredibly abusive marriage that I had no business being in, a humongous disassociation from my parents because of said marriage and other stupid adolescent bullshtick, a laundry list of mental illnesses including major depression, major anxiety, PTSD, agoraphobia, and a few others, and no hope for a future life because I was literally dying.
How did I go from all of that hot fucking stress mess shtick to where I am now? I mean…seriously, how??
I never thought I was the type of person to look within myself to find strength. To find the will and the fortitude to fight through all of the tribulations and trickeries that life kept shoving into my face like cake (and I fucking love cake). When I went into the hospital in October 2019, my brain was completely overloaded with everything the doctors were telling me. I wanted to go home, crawl into bed with my cats and just let death come for me. I had already callously thrown away the first 28-30 years of my existence, what did I have to fight for? Really, what was left out there for me?
Yet no matter how much I craved it and yearned for it, that peace of just giving up, something inside of me itched and bitched to the contrary. I sighed so fucking much. I sobbed and wept practically every single night from frustration and fear. I screamed into my pillow with such regularity as to compete with my daily medication schedule. Each of these acts was my way of hating the effort and the exhaustion that went into and came out of fighting to live.
It’s now October 2021, and I’m fully recovered from my open-heart surgery. I’m still sick and I still have congenital heart illnesses, and I can still probably die any day, but I’m no longer consistently dying, and hopefully shouldn’t die so long as I take care of myself in the ways my doctors have advised. Not only that, but I was invited to attend my dream university in the pursuit of a double major programme in two fields that I never thought I’d actually be able to complete for various reasons. I have a blog that allows me to engage with an utterly fabulous community of creatives and fellow bookish and otaku hobbyists that help inspire me to keep doing the things I love every day, no matter how outrageous or wacky or silly or even basic they are. I’m writing stories that I hope one day will get published so other people out there like me can read them and be like, “Whoa, this is me! I can be this person. I can totally do this thing.” I have four amazing kitties, two cranky old birdies, and a human companion that has been through everything and the goddamn sun with me. My platonic partner in life who’s my best friend and the thing that keeps me sane on days like today where my brain is just so inundated with disbelief.
It’s my fucking birthday today.
And guess what?
I’m fucking alive.
My heart is working.
My passions are blooming.
My writing is evolving.
My library is expanding (as is my waistline, but hey, cake; also, I like being round and squishy for my kitties, woot).
My tears are flowing.
Oh! And my hair is growing (like bloody Plant 42, Bless Boss Man).
I wrote all of this down today because not only did I want to sort through the cioppino of thoughts and feelings within my brain and body, but also as a reminder to anyone else out there who’s going through a shitstorm of impossibilities that’s catered to your very own existence. Life fucking sucks sometimes. Like Miroku’s Wind Tunnel, it sucks everything into a void leaving you either empty or incomprehensibly miserable. But it won’t be forever. It’s cliché as all the Seven Hells, but it’s so wrung out because there’s some truth to it.
Don’t get me wrong. The bitch cycles can last a very long time. My abusive marriage lasted nine and a half years. Then I had three years of wandering around trying to figure stuff out before my heart decided to reach out of my chest and sucker-punch me in the face. And right lung (don’t ask). It would be another one year and some frightening fucking surgeries later, coupled with another year of brutal recovery before I’d be at a place where I’d sit down in the middle of a stormy night and put together this sappy little write-up. When I think about the numbers, it’s mind-blowing because it feels like an entire lifetime.
And that’s kind of the point. It was an entire lifetime.
But it wasn’t my whole lifetime.
I still have plenty of time yet to life (yay, cheesiness!).
Don’t give up. Don’t let the darkness consume you like it almost consumed me. It is so seductive and magical and warm and enchanting, but only if we give it that power to be so. That seduction is manipulation. That magic is a curse. That warmth is dry ice, baby. That enchantment? An illusion formed from complete and total emotional exhaustion.
Even the absolute worst lives have a unique way of surprising us, especially when we least expect it to, and as someone that loathes surprises, those moments of “Oh my god, I’m finally free,” are precisely what makes life and all of that effort put into fighting to exist so fucking worth it.
So, I raise this cup of hot chocolate as the clouds roar their mighty thundering…roars, and I celebrate my 34th birthday. Holy Boss Man, I hate getting older. But Holy Heart Surgeries, I love getting to stay alive. Here’s to another year of some befuddling-where-the-hell-did-you-come-from successes, good health, silly blogging, ALL THE KITTIES, and the belief that the darkness will visit the Merry-Go-Round of FUCK OFF one day. As with everything in life, it’s impermanent. We just have to be a little patient (a virtue I definitely do not have, mind you).
Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to a year of phenomenal possibilities come true. Happy motherfucking birthday to me.