Unusual for me, I didn’t chronicle my birthday this year. A lot of it has to do with what’s going on in my life (and my head) these days, although I can’t really say why I haven’t blogged in 20 days. I guess I’m just not feeling it much lately.
On January 23rd I turned 38 years old. What a strange age to be. I find it very surreal to be closer to 40 than to 20. In my mind, I’m still closer to my teens than I am to being a grown-up. I’m not sure when this feeling will change, if it changes at all.
I woke up on my birthday and came downstairs to find a hand-made card waiting for me and a gluten-free birthday cake. These wonderful items were both courtesy of my amazing husband. Since it was my birthday, I was turning old, and I have been home on medical leave and feeling sort of out of sorts, I decided that my fancy party t-shirt was the appropriate attire for the day. Shawn got me that shirt for Christmas. Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is?
In a surprising turn of events, I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday this year. It had nothing to do with age and everything to do with the PTSD crap I’m going through. I didn’t want to see anyone, go anywhere, do anything,or even really talk about my birthday. Two days before my birthday I woke up feeling excited that it WAS ALMOST my day. That was the first sign that I was starting to feel better and I have medication to thank for that.
Anyone who knows me knows how much of a birthday person I am. Generally I start counting down the shopping days until January 23rd in November. I used to write these helpful countdowns in my friends Val’s and Jill’s agendas. I’m helpful like that. This year I didn’t even tell new people I’d met that it was going to be my birthday. I realize this probably doesn’t matter to most of the world, but it’s a huge sign of how Not Myself I have been. I’m getting better but I still feel like I missing a big chunk of myself and I’m a little bitter about that.
So my birthday was spent with my husband and it was pretty quiet. We went to a movie during the day (Frozen) and then we had take-out for dinner. I braved the world and went downtown the next night to have dinner with my boss because I wanted to see her and I miss her a lot. That was nice and it was nice to know I could actually hear about work and not have a major panic attack start. Again, medication to thank for that. Not a huge dosage, but enough to erase the anxiety and fear I have been living with for the last handful of months.
I didn’t even see my in-laws until the start of February. I just wasn’t feeling like being around people or having any attention paid to me. Heck, normally I love attention. heh… I just wanted to be quiet this year. Reflect. Spend time with Shawn. The fact that we’ve both been home for the entire duration of my leave from work has been a blessing in disguise. I don’t know how I’d have gotten through what I was going through if I had to be alone with my thoughts all day.
Meanwhile, I’m still trying to digest the fact that I’m two years away from turning 40. It’s not that I think 40 is old, except in my head, I do think 40 is old. I know it’s not. I know more people in their 40s that I would think were in their late 20s if I didn’t know their real ages. I guess the idea of 40, the one that I grew up knowing, my parents’ 40.. or my grandparents’ 40… is still stuck in there somewhere. I have all these questions – when I’m 40 am I too old to keep having rainbow coloured hair? Am I too old to have pigtails when my hair is long, or too old to get more tattoos? Can I still wear t-shirts with cartoons on them? Will I still be cute? Hmm.
Most of this is completely in my head and I don’t totally believe it. It’s another one of those “two people in my head with completely logical and true ideas that do not get along” things. Like how I know I can succeed at school and at the same time think I can’t do school at all. Two differing opinions all living in the same space. It’s enough to make a person dizzy, yo!
So, I had a birthday in January. It’s now February and I’m not sure where the time went. I start back to work this coming Thursday and although it’s a progressive return, I’m not sure how I feel about going back to reality. I’ve been pretty happy in my cocoon at home doing things that I feel like doing when I feel like doing them. Alas. I still need to pay the bills.
When I left work in November I was 37. When I return to work this week, I’m 38 and honestly? It does feel like an entire year has passed in the last 2.5 months. I just hope that 38 treats me better than 37 did.