It’s my birthday on Sunday. When I was younger, it felt like a national holiday and I counted down the days. Now it feels like it sneaks up on me a little. I still mark the day and I am by no means afraid of getting older, but it doesn’t feel a celebratory any more. Part of that, I’m sure is my general mood, and part of that is wanting to share it with some people but not knowing if anyone cares to share it with me.
I’ve had a rough year and a half. I’ve been very unhappy. The election cycle that has been going on during that time has just ended unfavorably (for me, and I think, for the country). I’ve been dropped by people that I care about and I don’t really know why and I’m trying to move forward with hesitation and apprehension because I am navigating feelings of anxiety and depression. Last week I asked my friend if I was worth the effort. Am I worth the effort? That question has been sitting on me for a while now and finally formed into words. I definitely haven’t been feeling it lately. It’s something that I’m afraid to ask out loud though, for two reasons: one is that I don’t want to continuously be a burden to people and drag them down (I try to write through my problems as well, with mixed results), but the second is that I’m a little afraid the answer might be that I’m not. That the reason I’ve been dropped by people is that they got sick of pretending they wanted to be around me. That I don’t have anything to offer.
This last weekend helped buffer that feeling and restore a little more of my me. I got to spend Friday night helping out a work friend with her wedding and got to do it with another friend that I made through my job. I had so much fun and it was such a beautiful wedding (there is an event space above Day Block Brewery in Minneapolis that is gorgeous and so close to awesome beer!). As we talked (about a whole gamut of things) I was reminded that I do have people who choose to care about me and that want to listen to me and want to tell me stuff to get my input and who want to spend time with me. That’s big, wanting to spend time, because it’s such a valuable thing and it’s so hard when the people you care about don’t wish to spend their time with you. On Saturday, I was able to spend some time with another friend (a very busy, over scheduled one, and the one that I messaged that question to) and it was so wonderful. Again, that reassuring that I’m valuable to someone that I find value in. It wasn’t much, we got some drinks and then we watched a movie and we talked. And like I said, I’m often guarded when I talk–I seek out people who are interested in open conversations about anything, but it’s hard to trust that once you start opening up that it won’t suddenly shut down and you won’t have left so much of yourself out there, being judged. But to have a couple of friends that will let me unload and feel comfortable unloading with me, is a great feeling.
So, the thing with birthdays is that you hope that the people you care about will remember (Facebook makes that easier, definitely) and that they will choose to mark that it is an important occasion by telling you that you matter in some way. Resonating. My birthday is Sunday. Of course there are people that I hope I’ll hear from. And there are people that will not mark it and it will hurt a little. But this year, I decided that I wanted to do something. There is a band that I saw perform with Rachael Yamagata a couple of years ago called The Dove and the Wolf who will be playing with another artist (Jonathan Tyler, who I’m not familiar with) at the 7th Street Entry on Sunday, which seemed fortuitous. I sent out a message on Facebook to people that I thought might like to join me for some live music and beers (because right now music and beer seems essential). I hope that some of them come. There were a couple of people that I would love to see that I didn’t send the message to, because sometimes you care about people who don’t want to spend their time with you. I have to learn to live with that. And to resonate with the ones that do.
More later …