“Doesn’t your birthday make you think about death?”
“No. It makes me think about cake”
I know this isn’t the topic I should be talking about the day before my birthday and it is not solely because it is my birthday that I am thinking about the concept of death. But I am and I am probably about to say a BUNCH of things I should not, buckle up.
This year in particular I have become far more aware of my own mortality in general. I do think I am stuck in a place where I am still searching for some kind of calming thought about people who have died and an afterlife. Maybe this is abnormal and maybe that comes from having some experiences where I really got lucky by getting out alive. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I have lost a considerable amount of people in my life. It usually goes in waves, I don’t know what that is but 3-4 go at a time and then we get a little break. I lost multiple people this last 12 months or so and more than one to suicide. I am not going to talk about the whys and why nots of suicide because the only answer at the end of the day is that WE don’t know. We don’t know how they were feeling, why they did it or what it feels like now. The worst part is always watching the people around that person in excruciating pain. Losing someone, is the hardest thing in the world I think. It shatters part of your world, if not all of it, depending on your relationship. I can feel you thinking “yeah, we know that, let’s not get into it.” And you are right, I don’t want to either. Illness, old age, accidents, etc. have all taken people from us. And this would be the perfect time to blow some “live everyday as if it’s your last” or “treat people well because you never know when they will be gone” into your butts. Which, all though true, is not what I am thinking.
Earlier this week my aunt was found dead in her apartment. My aunt is my mom’s older sister and has always had some issues with addiction. My aunt was frequently taken care of by family members and often the government. Some people have very negative feelings about people with drug problems. It definitely hurts the people around you. When my mom told me she had passed, I asked how she was doing and she just said “unfortunately, I have been afraid I would get that call since she was 14.” Granted my mother is a saint, above and beyond one of the best people I have ever encounter in my whole life and I have met a lot of people. That’s her sister, my aunt had some of that in her too, she had to. Did she end up alone and helpless because she didn’t love others? Absolutely not. I know for a fact she loved me and my mom and her mom and everyone. She was actually a very loving, considerate person. It ended up the way it did because she didn’t love herself. I think I’m guilty, and maybe you too, of thinking about how I can treat others and how they feel about me and in that process I forget about me. You are loved, someone loves you but maybe you don’t see it because if you can’t love yourself you can’t understand how other people can? Possibly. Is this a Justin Beiber song? Maybe. Am venting my own personal fears about how I treat myself and how that correlates to my feelings towards death? Probably.
In the past year I have almost been consumed with the idea of death, it makes me anxious, I am afraid of losing the people I love the most. I also fear my own death, not for the pain but for what I would leave undone and unsaid. In all that concern with dying I have lost track of the living part.
My birthday hasn’t always been perfect. My 11th birthday I was chasing my boyfriend around and fell hard on the concrete and got some pretty sweet road rash and cried in front of all my friends. My 20th birthday was the day my longest relationship ended, and so did my interest for intimate love in general. My 21st birthday I went to work and came home alone and cried. But there have been awesome ones too! The past few years I have used my birthday as an excuse to get all of my friends together and make them have fun so I can selfishly spend time with a bunch of them at once. I am 26 tomorrow, basically one foot is in the grave (kidding). This year is different for many reasons but due to distance I am not able to have anything with my family and friends for the first time ever. So the revelation is, tomorrow is about me. And for you it’s about you. And 26 is going to be about me living and not anyone else dying. I am currently visiting where you don’t have to wear shoes in Starbucks, preparing to spend the next days with me. Although, i am uncomfortable with it (for sanitary reasons) the end result sound way more relaxed than having shoes on. Just me. It’s getting intense and multiple people told me not to go on an outing alone but this is about me. Not you and your cake.
So tomorrow, if you care what I want, tell people about me. While I try to figure what it is exactly I want from myself for my birthday. All I want from you is what I want most years and most days. Listen to the podcast, plan to come to a show, like my page, follow me twitter or instagram, share the blog posts, send me a message or a tweet, whatever. Because if anything is going speed the process of valuing ourselves more intrinsically it is the validation of social media. Kidding, the reason I ask for that is because I love doing what I do. I love comedy and being silly and having you be silly with me. It is what makes me the happiest. So if you like it, tell a friend, then they can have fun with us! Duh! It is a selfish thing, but this year is about me, remember? It’s a gift from you, from me, for me. Yeah, use that in a song Bieber!
Thanks for sticking through that.