Pre-Celebration Blues

Pre-Celebration Blues

Reasons why I haven't been excited by my upcoming birthday.
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Every year I feel like a mid-life crisis occurs on my birthday.

The smallest setbacks send my emotions into a doom-and-gloom territory.

Anything from others' birthdays being right before or after mine, to not booking plans exactly when I wanted to, makes me not want to celebrate.

Before my birthday I'm a complete bratty mess. "I want it done NOW!" "Mine! Mine! Mine!" "Now! Now! Now!" Then when I start to see others happily celebrating their birthdays right before my own, I get severely depressed and go through the motions till a few days after my birthday. The rest of the year is dedicated to regret and making plans that again won't go through on my next birthday.

Planning ahead is something I've always lived for, and yet the one thing I cannot follow through on.

I feel like that's one of the things that depresses me about my birthday the most; thinking of all the things I planned for and wanted to accomplish, but yet here comes another year of that desire not being fulfilled.

I notice that the majority of people who don't make plans in life receive all that life has to offer. Good paying jobs, networking opportunities, love, their own houses, cars, endless friendships. Those of us who consciously make plans to get the things others get easily are forever receiving only crumbs when we were working towards the cake.

This makes me want to do a study on if certain personality types are prone to shittier lives. Is there a correlation between those who don't get ahead in life and their birth sign? At what point does one just chuck their life plans and go with the flow like everybody else?

But I digress.

February 1st will be my 37th birthday and already my depression is in full effect. I wake up every day in brat mode and by mid-afternoon, I'm a depressed mess. What's wrong with me? Getting another year older doesn't excite me like it used to.

I looked forward to my 18th birthday because I was FINALLY considered an adult and could legally escape my childhood home and traumas.

Though I don't drink alcohol or dance, my 21st birthday meant I could finally join my friends when they went out to bars and clubs.

At 25, I could finally rent a car so I could travel wherever and whenever I wanted.

However, once I reached my 31st birthday, I had not become a published author like I'd dreamed of becoming since I was a small child. I hadn't received my Bachelor's degree. I wasn't married. I still live paycheck to paycheck. Since then, every birthday has been the current routine of brattiness followed by depression and regret.

So is this it? Since everything I looked forward to didn't happen in my timeframe now every birthday henceforth is like, "Meh. Who cares?"

The few great birthdays I've had was my 25th birthday, my 30th birthday and my 35th birthday.

When I turned 25 I got my first tattoo - despite my fear of needles. I also was completely spoiled by endless female strip dances!

When I turned 30, my friends helped me throw myself a Twilight Saga themed birthday bash! Complete with movie marathon viewings, playing an interactive Twilight Board game, and a surprise customized cake (because two of my friends are custom cake makers - plug for Kake Kingz https://www.facebook.com/kakekingz/!)

When I turned 35, one of my friends helped me arrange to watch a private live lesbian sex show! Took me back to wild days as a teenager and early 20's!

Should I just alternate between being a voyeur at all-girl sexcapades and Twilight saga remembrances for the rest of my life? As fun as those things were, in the grand scheme of my life, partying like that every year feels childish and a bit selfish to me.

I want my birthday to mean more to me than just that one sliver of personal indulgence that I can't get regularly.

I have a great itch to travel, and despite my awful preplanning skills before and throughout, I've managed to visit Columbus, New York City, and Cincinnati multiple times, in addition to traveling to Toledo, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

I have Forks Washington (come on, I'm a Twilight FANATIC - I have to see the place the saga was based!), Washington D.C., Amherst, Massachusetts, Ellis Island, and Paris on my Traveling Bucket List.

I also have to finish getting the second tattoo I have (that I started on my 35th birthday) completed, and get the five more I want.

I want to eat New York Pizza again, eat Chicago's Deep Dish Pizza again, and try every dish offered at Gordough's in Austin, Texas.

Sounds like good goals right? So why am I still not feeling like celebrating?

Cover Image Credit: Kimberly Steele

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What Do You Do When Tragedy Strikes Your Former Home?

In my desperate attempt to figure this out, I'm writing about it.

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On November 8th, I woke up with a voicemail from my mom. It went a little like this,

"Hey, it's Momma. I'm sorry it's really early your time, but I wanted to have you hear from me before you got the news on. There was a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last night at a country bar about ten minutes from where our house was in Moorpark. There are 12 people dead, the shooter is dead, and a cop. It was college night at the bar, so anyone over 18 could go in. There were students from multiple colleges there, that's all they know so far. It's just horrible." And so on. I made it about halfway through the voicemail before I pulled out my laptop.

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According to USAToday, the Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th shooting on the 311th day of 2018. Are we supposed to allow ourselves to be desensitized to this gun violence? I sure hope not. I'll save you the agony of listening to how the rest of my day went. Long story short, I watched the news and cried more than I'd like to admit.

As the day carried on, I watched the pictures come up on my computer screen. I scrolled through social media and looked at my friend's posts of their friends being safe. Somehow, that did not calm me down. I watched the victim's faces pop up one by one on my laptop, and I listened to the stories.

All country music lovers, all college students, all heroes who helped save the lives of others before they lost their own. It was not until Friday that I realized I did recognize one of the faces. I logged onto my Facebook to get rid of a notification, and there it was. A picture of my childhood swim coaches, and Noel Sparks. Now, I understand that it's been years, but that doesn't make it any better. Each victim of the shooting had so much more life to be lived, and my heart breaks for each one of them. I send all of my love to the family, friends, and everyone affected by the Borderline shooting.

Not even a day later, there was news of a fire that is rapidly spreading. According to CBS News, The Woolsey fire has burned 98,362 acres of land and is only about 57% contained. While this fire has only 3 confirmed fatalities, the second fire that is burning in California has taken the lives of 56 people and burned 140,000 acres of land. I can spit out as many facts as my fingers can research, but it doesn't change the fact that my heart aches for my former home. When all of this tragedy happens and I'm 1,835 miles away, I have never felt so helpless. I donated to the victim's families, but I have not found a way to make sense of this in my mind. Why do these things happen? There's no concrete answer to this question, so am I going to wonder it forever?

If you would like to find a place to donate to the Borderline victims' families, click here. If you would like to find a place to donate to the victims' of the fires, click here.

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