Birthdays are often bittersweet. Many hate aging, many feel it reminds them of what could be and yet, there are those who love it for the attention they get and for what it marks.
This year was a different birthday for me. Bittersweet – I am on the threshold of 40 and I am not regretting my age or hiding it. But with it comes a lot of hard lessons. Last year onwards has been trying – almost like a burnishing of silver in flames. The heat is still very much there. So much so that this year neither of my parents wished me – one could not and one did not. It’s not easy. We don’t celebrate much in the family but that is a basic I always had. Till last year when my father genuinely forgot. This year I believe he deliberately forgot. It matters not. It hurt. That’s for sure. It hurt coz I have done for my parents far more than most ever have. Even at times more than what they have done for me. So a little wish is not much to ask for, is it?
Yet these days the lessons are many and so I chose to look at it as a way of letting go. Everything I have held on for years, decades, I am slowly letting go. It’s not easy – it’s very scary and sad in a way. But I know somewhere I need to release all that holds me down if I am truly to be what I want and need to be. It’s one of those inevitable factors in life that sort of drag you in the direction you need to go and if you don’t yield, it will do what needs to be done. Whether you like it or not. I am not happy about this but I know it is part of the journey, the process and instead of fighting it or giving into despair, I am trusting that process. For this I need to trust myself – and that is probably one of the hardest things to do. For years, self doubt has been my dark friend – the foreboding feeling that always fuels anxiety and burns self esteem. It is what oppressive structures thrive on. And it ain’t fun but it must be fought and it must be released. And so I am here now.
Trying my best to look at the silver lining in the clouds, to understand that everything is temporary and that through the storm there are rainbows and there is light. And not every day will be dark. That the human spirit is far greater than I have ever given it credit and that I wield far more strength than I ever though possible. Somewhere in me is that little hope that I pray never dies.
May we prevail.