You and Me

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Last night as I lay in bed, I was remembering many other nights that I lay awake, the night before my birthday all these past years. As a child, it was always excitement for cake and gifts. As a college kid, it was a good time with friends. As an adult, it was a mixture of family, friends and a good time.

This past decade has been a troubling time in a lot of ways. But through those turbulent times, I’ve had some constant lifelines as well. I am very grateful for them. The worst of the lot was that every birthday I would have to listen to my relatives wish me for my birthday. These calls went from being “Happy Birthday, God Bless you” to “Happy Birthday, do something with your life” to “Happy Birthday” followed by sugar-coated words meant to hurt. I am just going to think all of it was unknowingly said. But it has an effect nonetheless. Over the past decade, for at least 6 years, I can remember crying myself to sleep on the nights before my birthday. Though since last year, I have begun to care less about them and more about me.

It may be because often these wishes on my birthday would always have words like “When I was as old as you I had two kids” or “I was entirely settled in life, married with children and a steady job”. And then this past year, I began figuring out there were many differences between us –  You, who has told me that you have done this or attained that when you were a certain age, and Me.

You may have landed a steady job at the age of 25, whereas Me, was onto my second job and having fun. By the time you were thirty, You probably were married and had 2.5 kids; and me, well I had held a leopard cub, rescued an injured a baby peacock, donated and read a library’s worth of books. Oh, and taught at least two dozen young adults and helped them with the education. I have given back to my world, in at least that small manner.

Now to the future. I may not still accomplish all that You have, but I do not care. For this is my life, and I am happy with it.

To all those who have wished me well sincerely, I thank you. You made my day special and your sincere wished gleam against all others.

Incidentally, I started thinking this way over a year back. This is what I wrote back then.

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