All Mixed Up at ccMixter

Friday, July 22, 2011

"It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To. . . "

Ever since I was little, I had a bit of a tantrum on my birthday. It probably stems from the narcissistic personality disorder qualities I live with causing me to suffer greatly from never feeling loved enough so that when my birthday observances come around, I am often left feeling depleted instead of filled. The need for such love an armour against allowing such love, when proffered, to make its way in. Then there is also the guilt and shame associated with wanting to feel that love, to feel special – that need engendering a sense of self-loathing for not being comfortable with myself which I have experienced since a very early age.

I’m working on it being different this time.

I remember many of my birthdays. On my fifth birthday we played a racing game. All of the children left their shoes at the far end of a long lawn. We raced from the opposite end, put our shoes on, and ran back to the starting point. I finished last. I sobbed. Not because I was last, but out of indignation – it was my birthday, and as the birthday girl, I should have won! Being only five years old, I got over it quickly -- like as soon as the birthday cake was served.

On my 18th birthday, my best friend threw a surprise party for me, but literally no one showed up -- I think because while she planned everything, she forgot to tell people about it. She and I ate the entire 1/4 sheet birthday cake that was shaped like a jar of Skippy peanut butter.

My 21st birthday was spent in Florence. I ate a giant gianduia wafer in the garret room of the pensione where I was staying, dressed only in my underwear, before going out to the Borghese gardens to see a performance of the ABT where I wondered if the famous male dancer was for real or stuffed socks in his crotch. My 30th birthday was particularly lovely as that was when I discovered I was pregnant with my first daughter. My 40th was lovely too as we had just moved into our first house after living in a tiny apartment – four of us plus the cats in a place with only one bathroom and no closets.

My parents always made a big deal of my birthday. My birthday was important to me too, until the past decade or so when the passing of time marked by my birthday became particularly painful. As I entered middle age, each birthday marked another year when I became farther from my youth, my potential, my beauty, my sadness compounded by the temporal reminder of what I have not done which somehow overshadows what I have done. 

Now my birthday is a time of mourning. The months, weeks, days leading up to my birthday filled with grief as I cry for what has passed, for the lack of appreciation I have always had for myself, and for certain choices made that took me in predictable directions, but yet somehow landed me in unexpected places -- like the job I have held for the past 11 years that turned into the career I never in a million years would have imagined or chosen for myself, and which consumed so, so much time of my life, although did provide stability for my family.

Despite all of this, I woke up this birthday morning cheerful in anticipation of some special love from my special loved ones. I am grateful for the opportunity to once again try to let it in, even though I am not so sure that I am yet comfortable in my skin, despite having made it to this ripe, ripe age.

Choices -- The Sequel

Choices may change

though indelible they remain
like ink to skin
Worn in expressions stained by experience reflecting what you did and what you chose not to do
Worn in brief side eyed glances as you cross thresholds escorted by the ghosts of your decisions
Worn in distractions crystalized like breath on frozen window glass
where you pause to peer as you pass. . .

As you pass there is no time
no time for regret.

My regrets are few, but deep
They are the gollum in my dreams and the clocks collected by my father
As if by surrounding himself by minutes and hours he will somehow linger longer.

I have neither a clock nor a mirror.
My life’s reflection transitory
Rear views
Your eyes

Choices may change but indelible they remain
so that experience is this experience.
Setting up decisions like destiny
Benchmarking probability
If these choices were odds
And I were a booking placing bets
You could make a million bucks
Guessing what happens next.

Choices may change but indelible they remain
The dna of action
Infusing each reach with a legacy of intention
At times unrecognizable,
So that even soma’s messages cannot elucidate the options.
And other times
Clear, inspired, focused, righteous
Toched by divinity
So that those choices are delicate habingers of hope in a life of crises.

Choices may change
Though indelible they remain
Link ink to skin
Coloring history with the hues of your decisions.