Birthday Blahg

4 am on December 14th – my birthday, in fact.

I got home from work around midnight, the usual time. Watched a movie and listened to music, just to kill some time. Turned the lights off to go to sleep and then felt the very strong urge to put make up on. A girl can resist very many a thing, however the urge to put make up on is not one.

Mostly drawn from the movie that I watched where the fearless, independent leading lady was not as strong as people that watch it want to believe she is.

Make up inspired by it – dark, heavy eyes, the darker the better to obscure the world around. Staring at myself in the mirror can conjure up any sort of feeling in me. Usually, it’s positive as I’ve learned to love myself more, lately it’s negative…. reminding me that I haven’t been to yoga in over a month and I shove food down my throat more often than I eat.

So I decided to smoke a cigarette. In my shower. Naked.

I turned on some Alabama Shakes, I lit a stick of incense, I cracked the shower window open to let the 20 degree snowy breeze flood in, I lit the cigarette and started dancing.

I used to be in love with this guy. Like, head over heels, stupid in love. I wanted to marry and mother his children. I was ready for the whole 9 – with him. He, however, was not. So nothing happened and 2.5 years later I told him to never talk to me again. Well, we talked a few days ago. I found out he now works around the corner from my work and he wants to see me.

A year ago, I would have dropped everything and ran straight over if he wanted. This year, I don’t particularly give a shit what he wants.

A guest asked me how I was doing today after revealing that tomorrow is my birthday and I’m turning 29. He asked if I was freaked out. I looked at him, without any hesitation or thought and said “I’m not freaked out about getting older, I’m in a really good part of my life right now.”

I was surprised and impressed that that was a) my answer and b) the truth. I am standing on the edge of freedoms that some people only read about. On the verge of a one year move to a country across the globe and all I have are opportunities. I have spent more than my share of time worrying about the details, i.e., money, and now I’m over it.

The resolution in me is strong – I’m going. Every obstacle has been thrown in my way since deciding to go, and frankly I’m still winning. The guest also said a very wise thing: “There are plane rides there and there are also plane rides back.”

Standing in my shower, smoking a cigarette, I turned the hot water on. The steam filled the room immediately as the hot, hot water met the frozen chill. I threw the cigarette in the toilet and started washing the makeup off my face. I could feel the thick layer of pretend me dissolving into the stream.

Finally I reached my natural face and had a beautiful shot of feeling complete. I was enough, in that moment. I was just me, in complete vulnerable form and completely comfortable.

When the water stopped and I had to face the repercussions of cleanliness: being wet, drying off, combing my curls, etc., I remembered that everything wasn’t perfect.

I’m behind on rent. Which I don’t want to pay, because I’m further behind on my Australia budget. Not something easy to admit in my blog, let alone in my life, but I just don’t want to pay rent. So I’m living in fear, too. I’m afraid they’re going to knock on my door any minute and say GET OUT.

However, freshly out of the shower, looking around my “busy” apartment, I can see things for what they are : necessities, vanities and memories. If I had 20 minutes to pick and choose what would go with me, I could. That’s another freedom I’m lucky to have – a healthy disconnect.

I always feel like “maybe this is it, maybe I’m a grown up,” and then something else pops up and I don’t handle it the way I know I should – like writing a check and being 715 dollars poorer instead of living in fear. Oh well. There’s still a lot more life left for me to pay rent on time.

Which also made me realize that my fear of being broke in Australia is stronger than my fear of being evicted in Chicago.

I know this next year is going to be a pretty big one for me. Lots of new things to discover around me and within me. I can’t wait to go through the experiences. There’s going to be amazing, powerful, breathtaking, heart stealing moments and then there’s going to be the majority of the time – waiting for those moments to occur.

With L O V E, on my 29th birthday…

One thought on “Birthday Blahg

  1. Duffy–I have missed your blog entries. So nice to read you again. I remember waking up on my 29th birthday and thinking “Holy Shit, I’m 29!!!” It felt old… and yet it felt right. My second thought was that I was at last grown up. But I have learned in the years since (29) that grown up is not a number. It’s getting through things I NEVER thought I would have to face much less deal with. And what is so cool about it all, is that when I come out on the other side of really serious stuff, I am still that 29-year-old woman inside…just wiser and more secure. You ARE on the edge of all sorts of possibility, even if you weren’t going to Australia. Happy Birthday.

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