Today is my birthday. So far, I avoided telling most people. Of course Facebook tells everyone for me and some people already know it’s my birthday and the calls, texts and messages come to remind me: it’s my birthday.
Usually on my birthday, I make a solid attempt at going incognito and finding a nice quiet place to ride. I’m at the hight of calving, my pasture seemed like an excellent suggestion. I do not enjoy being the center of attention and downright shun affection. I have developed an avoidance strategy for my birthday. Today, instead of following my natural inclination, I will attempt to embrace the moment and acknowledge the day.
I was born on this day, but I live in the space between my birthdate and the day I die. I have chosen to celebrate life with each day I’m given not the anniversary it started. Celebration is best shared with others, I feel no need to be singled out; today is a day we should all be glad to have been born. At least once a day, we should all remember to be thankful that we have a birthday and we get to live through today. I’m glad to share my birthday with the people who celebrated today and made the time to wish me a happy birthday, because now I get the chance to remind them all: I’m glad I get to live life around them. Today is a great day to celebrate a life, well spent in the company of people who I am pleased to call friends, family and coworkers.
That all said, I now must explain my reluctance to tell people about my birthday. I usually describe myself as shy, I’m not really shy just private. Truly, I’m confident and gregarious in some circumstances. I am also uncomfortable with emotion, terrified of intimacy and uncertain of affection. Certainly, I crave intimacy, affection and emotional expression but it comes at a great price; one I seldom think I can afford.
When I date, I am the ‘first kiss flight risk’, I run before anyone gets too close. With friends, I rarely invite them into my home. I keep everyone else at arms length. Most people don’t notice and for that I am grateful, sometimes I just need a quiet place and an adventure no one joins me on. I am equally grateful for the ones who call me out on my lack of trust and drag me from my shell and pull me into adventures I didn’t have planned but didn’t want to do without.
Life is not a journey we take alone (though on many days it feels that way.) Life is a journey which ends alone: what you have contributed to the people around you, is all you leave behind. Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I hope you enjoy the journey we have ended up sharing, even in the smallest ways.
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