I woke up today and I was sad. Sad and a little mad. I'm wasn't exactly sure why. Yesterday was my birthday and while I'm now closer to 50 than I am to 40, I think I handled it OK. Nothing like when I turned 40. That was trauma. It's strange because I don't think of myself as someone who would get all caught up in the age thing. But I did. I had anxiety attacks and crying jags and just hated the whole idea of my age beginning with a four. Part of it was that I closed the door on ever having kids when I hit 40. And so what, I didn't want kids to begin with. But the idea that the door was closing bothered me. Did I make a big mistake? Is the world going to suffer for never knowing a mini me? Hell if anything the world is better off without another me! One is plenty. But I agonized about it. Agonized that I was making a huge mistake, but not that I wanted to have a child. I certainly have nothing against people who have kids, but I just could never see myself in that role. I didn't grow up thinking, "oh I can't wait to have babies!" And yet, taking my option away bothered me. And sure, I know a lot of women have babies over 40. There was no way I was going to be one of them. Eventually I got over it and found my way back to how I've always been, happy in that decision. And what I'm feeling now I don't think is about age and certainly isn't about babies.
So why the hell am I sad today? Is it birthday "hangover"? This birthday was a little overwhelming, but not in a bad, holy shit I'm 45, kind of way. But in the, I received 16 cards (and that's not counting the stragglers that will arrive after the MLK holiday), 34 message board posts and over 130 Facebook birthday greetings, kind of way. I'm not bragging, I'm overwhelmed. It's hard to imagine that many people giving a shit. It's kind of humbling. I'm just a nobody but I guess having Facebook could make you feel like a somebody. You make "friends" and before you know it you have over 400 of them and you feel important, like you matter. And the truth of it is, you don't. You're still the goofy chick with purple hair that can't figure out what the fuck she's doing with her life.
A birthday always ends up making me look back on my life and look ahead at my life. Looking back I see wasted opportunities. Looking forward I see more of the same. What does this year hold for me? Will I continue to be chained in place because my parents need me more and more? Will everything I want be a secondary option because other people and other problems and anything other than what I want is more important? Will I matter more to the people who I want to matter to?
I was talking to my cousin on the phone yesterday and when I hung up I was mad. The mood I'm in now began there. It's not because I'm mad at her, but because I realized something in that conversation. Every year on our birthdays my mom makes the dinner of our choice. I tend to chose things that I don't make myself or that I don't make better than mom. It's just a fact that some things I do make better, or at least I like how I make it better. But inevitably I get attitude about my choices from my siblings. They don't like it or think it's a stupid choice or want something else, and give me shit about it. So this year I decided I'd make everyone happy and choose Thanksgiving dinner as my birthday dinner... meaning that I chose turkey and all the trimmings. I don't dislike this choice, but it's not something I would choose. What I love that my mom makes and I don't is oxtail soup. It's so good and she makes homemade noodles and I just love it. But the one time I chose this, you'd think that the world was coming to an end. I got so much shit from my brothers and sister that I just said fuck it. This year I saved myself the grief and chose something I didn't particularly want. And you know what happened? No one else came to dinner. I compromised for the sake of making others happy and I got fucked.
It really happened that way, but it's not about the dinner. It's a running theme in my life that this is how things go. I give, and it's not enough. I compromise, and I still get screwed. And why is it that they felt they could harass me and my choice? I'd never do that to someone. I am entitled to have what I want just as much as anyone else, so why should I change it to accommodate others? Would anyone do that for me? FUCK NO.
It's my own fault really. I'm a giver and I suppose I can't change that. There's not much I want and I do have a lot to give. I like to give. I like to make people happy. Mostly by give I mean give of myself. But sometimes it would be nice to have the people who matter to me give a little in return. I can't understand why I always have to take the high road. Why I have to be the one to compromise. Why I have to suck it up and deal with it. Once in awhile I'd like to be the one who gets to be selfish and do what I want, get what I want, and whoever doesn't like it can just fuck off.