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Birthday Blues...

“And then there was my birthday...” could be an alternative title to this post...

You can already feel the mixed feelings around that topic, right? Well, in general, people love their birthdays, they wait for that day like they do for Christmas. I said ‘in general’, because not everyone feels the same about their birthday, and certainly not me...

September third… my birthday… a dreaded day. And no, it’s not about my age, I really don’t care (I will post my thoughts about that in a couple days, and they’re surprisingly very positive :p).

I dread that day for several reasons, and this year was no different...

I dread it so much, that every year, my body won’t miss to express it, either I get a severe back pain or something else (this year was my shoulder blade).

During my childhood, I thought for a while that I was unlucky, because somehow having your birthday during the back to school time, (and we don’t even have Labor Day in France), seemed to be as terrible as having it at Christmas. At least when you’re a child. The new school year is starting, everybody is busy buying their new backpacks, notebooks and pens… New school year means in general new classmates and for the ones that stay the same, they had the whole summer break to forget about you (and I’m talking about a time without smartphones, Facebook, Ig…). All right, so that time’s been over for a while, right?... But somehow it did print some uncontrollable resentment in the mind of the child that I was at the time...

Let’s add to this that my mom has never been big on birthdays. She never celebrates her own. It’s not in her culture. But occasionally, she did celebrate mine. I can’t blame her and I won’t (I used to as a child, but I’m not a child anymore). I mean, it’s understandable. There’s a real dilemma when you live in-between two cultures. And also…. When I come to think about that day, I know my mom loves me unconditionally, but that specific day was not necessarily the happiest... Do you know the amount of torture and pain she had to endure to kick me out of her body? Who wants to remember that? And I will not dwell on the absence of the other half of my DNA provider… That would be giving him more than he deserves :P

So, basically my body and my mind are just fighting those memories and, like every year, I wake up with the birthday blues... quite dark blue... like navy blue.

And even though I receive countless HBD messages, I can’t help it, my navy blue turns into an ocean blue of tears. I start to wonder, what the hell is so special about today? Seriously? I can make all the wishes I want, but Covid won’t stop, racism won’t stop, injustice won’t stop, the T-guy won’t stop, still out there ruling with impunity... I feel powerless. And it’s weird because it almost feels good to feel so shitty… I can’t explain it. Or maybe I can… I’m guessing, it’s like vomiting all the pain out of myself. It hurts, but once it’s done, it feels like a relief.

Then the day can finally start…

So first, there was the French bakery. I’m invited to eat all the crap I want… well, I pick the crepes, inevitably with NUTELLA! And I spot something I haven’t seen in months… they have Malabars! (French bubble gums with a tattoo wrap), and my favorite ‘goûter’ (we call ‘goûter’ our 4pm snack): the French cookies ‘Petit Prince’. Festivities have finally started. The blue(s) turns… (hum interesting blue is the color given to that feeling of sadness and melancholy, but no color was attributed to joy and lighthearted feelings… we say ‘I feel blue’, but nobody says, ‘I feel purple or whatever other color…’ well…. I’d pick my favorite color which is rose, but there is a touch of yellow too. And I don’t want to mix both colors as they would turn close to orange… anyways, you get the feeling.) The blues is gone.

Then we go for a long drive upstate listening to my favorite music, soon interrupted by a phone call from a friend. He asks me about my day. I can’t help but share about my morning blues… He reminds me that birthdays are not necessarily for the birthday girl or boy, but more for all the people around whose lives have been impacted by the birthday girl or boy. And on this, he thanks me for being part of his life. My eyes well up. This thought touches me deeply. It reminds me of the movie ‘Wonderful Life’… I thank him in tears… and joy!

Later on, we’re up for an inspiring 4-mile-walk over the Hudson bridge. Very high. I end up making a wish. A realistic one. One that I can really hope to see come true. I want to throw a dime in the Hudson… Quite stressful moment actually lol! It felt like when I would throw the coin, the momentum would take me with it… Weird sensation. I close my eyes and throw it.

We get back in the car and now I’m ready to read and take in all the beautiful wishes and messages sent, via text, pm, on my profiles. And I feel thankful and overwhelmed with love and gratitude. Thank you all for your thoughts, memes, inspiring words of wisdom or laugh… Here’s to a new year of hope. Sending love to all.




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