contemplating the significance of my existence…

or post birthday thoughts….

I tend to be a very introspective, reflective person generally, but the time leading up to my birthday especially ramps up the thought process.

you think about another year passing, what you’ve accomplished and what you haven’t. I tend to focus on the latter.

I had issues in the womb. my mother was in the hospital for 62 days before I was born. I was supposed to be born in late July. Instead, I was born June 30 via c-section, one month early, and all the doctors were there at 10:24am.

hospital anklet 1972

this is the hospital anklet that was on me. I’m thinking my mom slipped it off of me when I got home. Apparently, once I was born, it was just two more days and the both of us went home. She said she could hold my head in her palm, and my feet touched her elbow.

hard to believe we start out that small, eh?

for the last week leading up to my birthday yesterday, I was mostly fighting illness, so my mind was mostly focused on doing my best to get healthy again. I did pretty well at doing it in time to salvage any sort of birthday celebration. I still woke up yesterday feeling pretty blah, and not the blue kind of blah. It was the “I’m not past a week of being sick and am still coughing and running through tissues faster than I can find them”

but it didn’t take long for me to ignore the “illness blah” and for the mopey-blue blah to creep in.

there’s a certain expectation for birthdays.
they are significant.
being born is significant.
but then you have to wonder who else understands YOUR specific significance in this world. Obviously, your family gets it. they kind of have to…
Moms especially do, even more so when their babies put them through what I put my Mom through.

I took myself shopping during the day. I’m not the stereotypical female shopper. Don’t get me wrong, I can spend money (music anyone? concerts?), but I don’t usually have any to spend. I’ll go out for specific things and will even consider items I wasn’t originally going after, but if what I need or wanted isn’t there, I end up buying nothing. The only thing I bought myself yesterday was the lunch I ate at the mall.

As I was walking through the mall, in a weird way, I felt as though I was keeping a secret from anyone I passed. As if I should have worn a badge saying “today’s my birthday!!” wouldn’t have mattered much, because random strangers don’t necessarily care.

after a couple pints of beer and a half pint of whiskey last night, I, in a drunken haze, decided to proclaim such a statement in the middle of Frightened Rabbit’s set. To be honest, it was less about attention and more to make sure I was still alive. I didn’t think I wasn’t alive, but I spend so much time in the company of strangers that sometimes I feel invisible. here I was in a crowded room, with perhaps, my most favorite band at the moment on stage feeling much better than I had at the start of the night. when I feel like that I like to share. the trouble is, I was under the influence of beer and whiskey (thanks to Brian) at that point.

oddly enough, as I get older, I realize that I can’t expect anyone to acknowledge the significance of my existence in this world. But I am glad that even when I’m near tears (and holding them back, if I’m going to be completely honest), I can rally and I have friends and coworkers who’ve become friends who help me rally. Jackie, Michael, Jennifer and Brian all were at the hut. And Me, Michael and Brian headed to Black Cat for the show. I got to talk with Laverne Sunday night and catch up with her, so that was helpful too.

I managed a few pictures, which are up on my flickr:

Now I can go back to being my usual emotional wreck of a self. instead of the heightened wreck that tends to happen around my birthday.

I’ll get to celebrate with my family at the end of July, which is when I was supposed to be born. I will, hopefully, get a homemade chocolate chocolate cake and my silly little universe should be back in balance.

if not, well, I guess I’ve somehow learned to cope,
because I’ve been quite overwhelmed since birth:
Laurice Ann McArdle June 30, 1972

sometimes, the trouble is I go back to feeling that small and fragile again. despite this, I manage time and time again to sort it out and keep on going. no one is going to do it for me, and if I waited for an invitation, I’d probably never leave my apartment.

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