The Tough Stuff

By this time tomorrow I’ll officially be in my mid 30s. Wow! That was unreal to write because I feel like I was just 10 years old. At 10 was when I met someone who would become one of my best friends in the universe. In 1993 I think that was the first time I was feeling boys and realized they were feeling me. It was a weird time of life to say the least. I have had an interesting experience with the evolution of my birthday over the years. At one point I really dreaded my birthday because it was met with little fanfare and sometimes went unnoticed all together. I used to think that it was okay not to be celebrated by those who loved me but the more I saw how other people’s families celebrated birthdays is the more I wanted that too. I had to become the source of my birthday celebrations because I wasn’t sure anyone else was ever going to plan anything and I couldn’t deal with the idea of being forgotten or pushed to the back burner, so I make a plan and invite those I love to my event. Creating my own joy.

Now, I love my birthday and I love myself a lot more now and I still get to celebrate with those who love me. While I still generally plan my birthday dinner and drinks, I do allow people to take care of me when I’m in that space. The thing that shatters me about my birthday time is the fact that my best friend, with whom I always celebrated my birthday with, the one who I met when I was 10, the person who would call me at 12:00 AM is no longer on this earth. He died the day after my 29th birthday. I dread May because I think of him and I think of all that I’ve missed about him since he’s been gone. I remember the phone call and all the crazy messages from people telling me the horrible news. It was a nightmare I couldn’t shake. We had plans to make, and we had places to travel to, and milestones to celebrate. We were going to plan our 30th birthdays together, he was going to send me dates of his vacation so we could coordinate a 20 Years of friendship party…but he died.

I see symbols of him every where in my life through butterflies, songs on the radio and people he sends to my life. His picture is placed on my altar with my grandma, grandfather, cousin and Ganesha who clears the obstacles. I see him everyday. I think of him all the time, yet when his death anniversary approaches I feel so helplessly sad because while I know his spirit is still with me, I miss him in this current life. I miss everything about who he was to me, I miss him being in my daughter’s life. I miss his laughter and his tenacity and I really just miss how he celebrated me in my life. His mom struggles more than any of us with his death to this day. I’m always reluctant to call her because while my grief is tough to manage, hers is expanded tenfold. She lost her child the week of Mother’s Day. Ughhhh. That’s the type of pain that can wreck your entire life and you’ll never be the same.

It’s about to be six years since his passing and I am mindful to do this in his honor. I buy a plant and I watch it grow and then I give it away. I take my time to talk to him when I’m walking out in nature. I dedicate my yoga practice to him. I sit in silence and listen closely to hear him, I visualize him and feel him near me. He is missed. But I know he would be mad as hell if I were to let this ruin my day. He would tell me to focus on myself and look for the good in every moment. He would also never want us to mourn for him. He’d want us to have a good time, check on his mom and go about our lives joyfully. I will do just that but I still miss him.

My birthday, this birthday in particular is an important one for me. Three and a half decades around the sun is glorious. I feel like I’m just now emerging into who I want to become. I’ve done a lot of searching, growing, stretching, learning and figuring out where I want to go. I’ve done lots of self work and mental work so I could be prepared for what’s next and I’m ready. I’m unafraid and I have an army of ancestors who won’t let me fail. I’ve had far too many ancestors die in the name of freedom so that I could become their wildest dreams. I am a bold, audacious, loving, kind, powerful woman who is walking in her path of divinity. Who I am today is the foundation of who I am becoming. I’m excited.

Cheers to my 35th revolution around the sun.

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