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  • The Archer

Thoughts From A Birthday

If you've been feeling judgemental, impulsive, and unable to stay in any one city for more than twenty minutes at a time, don't worry: it's just Sagittarius season. We Archers find ourselves seeking targets constantly and if we miss, we claim that the target cheated or we were never really going for that target anyway.

I'm an Archer so I just had a birthday. There is not a Taylor Swift song for this birthday YET so it is one of the less fun ones. It's not 30 but it's not 25 either...and it's definitely not 21. 21 feels like it just happened so how am I so far past that? How has it been 8.5 years since I've been a high schooler when I still feel like a high schooler 62% of the time?

Everyone has been asking me what I did to celebrate. My ideal birthday is me alone on a hike in a desert with surprisngly good cell service. But the ideal time to travel isn't always around my birthday and I'm not going to let the day I happened to be born dictate my life because I am a Sagittarius and the very concept of having a birthday feels like way too much commitment for me. So, it was a regular day where I worked and went to the gym and put food into the void and watched 3 episodes of The Great on Hulu and finished two books and went to sleep.

Everyone kept asking me what I was doing which made me tempted to get a Times Square Elmo and a bouncy house on the street outside my apartment for old time's sake. (I was a Barney child but there are no Times Square Barneys. Also I met Barney at Universal Studios and it was MAGICAL.) While plenty of my friends suggested we go out to celebrate, I didn't want to spend $100+ on steak and cocktails that would only cause me to wallow.

So I worked from home at a cafe I like and ate carbs. Then I switched to a gelato place so I could eat sugar. In between meetings I read my book while sipping my drink and feeling calm which to me is the essence of pleasure.

The wallowing over birthdays started far too young for me, perhaps even at the Taylor Swift festooned 22. At 22 it felt like everyone was getting engaged constantly. This could have been because they were. Half of my class, my little sister, my boss, kids two years younger than I-it was endless. The focus on this constant movement into matrimony was the wallow. Wallow over why everyone except me. Wallow over how much I disliked the people I was seeing. Wallow over why I wasn't seeing more people.

Through writing and talking and hobbies and medications straight from G-D himself I stopped wallowing and started enjoying.

Except for that one day in December.

Actually two. I watch The Sound of Music and cry my eyes out on Christmas.

But on my birthday the celebrations are often wallow inducing. Around a table with a friend or four discussing life and how nothing much has changed. In a conference room looking appropriately bashful as coworkers find the right key in the song and realize they got cake but no forks. With family unsure of where to put me. I'm not a child but I refuse to be a full adult until I have two incomes.

It's a lot to wallow over.

So last year a friend and I went to Arizona and climbed what we could and breathed for a minute and no one sang. This year I read a book in a cafe.

All it means is that I answer differently when someone asks me how old I am.

And every time that question comes up I mourn for a minute the life I thought I would have by now and the experiences I was sure I'd never have to endure.

It doesn't mean anything. There's a plan for me and it'll happen when it happens.

But can the time when it happens be now and the room where it happens here?

Because I don't want to eventually have to call the Times Square Elmo just to have an answer to what I'm doing for my birthday.

For my birthday I'd like peace. In whatever form that takes.

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