Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

It's my birthday today. 34.

Notice that I'm not punctuating it with an exclamation point. As in "It's my birthday today! 34!"

It's feeling like a very Sixteen Candles like day. I feel like the entire world should recognize my special day and it would be something magical. But it's not. It's just a day where I have to go to work and pretend to be busy.

I'm not ungrateful, don't get me wrong. Saturday night I went out with my friends to dinner and a club at the shore. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed myself. We even made friends with some guys, one of which asked for my number, but I was not interested in him. Whatever.

Then yesterday, even though I was suffering from a cold, I was with my extended family and they all sang me "Happy Birthday" with a cake and candles and everything. But even all that doesn't seem like enough.

Part of me expects to wake up to a perfect day, fresh fruit breakfast, a closet full of brand new clothes, and an entire morning of spa treatments. Then in the afternoon I'd explore inspiring places: art museums, Tuscan landscapes, turquoise beaches, Parisian sidewalk cafes. And in the evening I'd have a moonlight picnic with dancing and cheesecake. And all of this would be with my very own Jake Ryan.

What is it about birthdays that bring me down? I guess that in my head I have my birthday built up to ridiculous proportions. It's the start of summer, a chance for a new beginning, an opportunity to be something more than what I was the year before.

Like I said, I'm not ungrateful. I've accomplished lots: I own my own house, I'm working towards my masters degree, I've traveled and have more trips planned, I have a great and supportive family, I'm healthy and not physically repulsive, I'm smart and don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. So in the grand scheme of things, I'm pretty well off. There isn't much for me to really complain about.

Yet I do.

I think of the times I've said "I love you." Some I wish I could take back because it was just dumb and naive of me. But there are those special few where I really meant it. And one in particular who could still make my knees week if he was to come back to Jersey.

But I have to believe that I'll say it again -- and mean it. It will be my birthday wish. That and my very own Jake Ryan t-shirt.

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