My birthday found me again and so I turned twenty-four last week.

Birthdays are usually a bit of a wincing difficulty for me in the way that they feel like these celebratory receipts over x years of living, putting into sharper focus the accomplishments and failures achieved so far – losses and gains, stretches on this canvas of skin, blushes fashioned into bruises fashioned into blushes again. There is a sense of grief during birthdays for me which I can’t articulate without misconstruing myself and sounding like I dislike them, which isn’t fully true.

Previously, this existence was too heatedly colored by sadness and anger and each birthday was ushered in by the once-a-year crying session over the futility of impermanence and living.

But things change, and I am very much open to the idea of change. Hands and feet get chaffed, humans slip in and out, cultural symbols age (even the great Bowie ages), villains and heros become interchangeable, and worldly calamities subject themselves upon the population. Then we all cut our nails and hair when they get too long, and we feed ourselves with what the media feeds us and try to find our own voices of reason as we grow older and worry about our respective losses and gains, attempting to retain some human dignity while we’re at it. We become conditioned to act and perceive things a certain way and some days it is harder to find meaning and beauty, more so than others.

I don’t know where I am headed to with my health and my abilities in this fleeting period of youth as I type all of this in able-bodied clarity. The pursuit may be a relentless one but there is still brightness in spirit and considerable enthusiasm which I have somehow managed to retain in spite of all that came beforehand. The wishes trickled through and I found that I am fortunate in more ways than one even if I bemoan my own self for its lack of grace quite frequently. I’ve found that I am brighter and stronger than I previously envisioned myself to be and although certain struggles are stubborn in its eminent presence, not everything is lost.

So I am poised to try,

in pursuit of beauty, truth, and kindness.



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