Whelp, November 3rd has arrived once more, which means something very particular. It’s my birthday! 🎉 I’m turning 31 today, which is…still sorta surreal, to be honest. I’m quite excited to be in my thirties. (And only two years away from my Hobbit birthday.) Everyone says they are so much better than your twenties and by gods, I hope they are right.
Before we fully dive in, though, please take a moment out of your day to learn about the atrocities, war crimes and genocide currently happening in Gaza. Commit yourself to take at least one action to support Palestine. Thank you.
It was actually really lovely to reread my birthday post from last year. It was nice to remember some things I’ve accomplished and see just how shit some of the things have been. Sometimes, I’ll gaslight myself into thinking that things aren’t too bad, but then I remember all the shit I’ve been through (am still going through) and the state of the world, and it’s just….
It’s a lot.
I won’t lie: this year, even though I’m excited for my birthday, I feel a little more melancholy than usual. I’m very happy to have the day off work, to sleep in. I plan to enjoy the rare warm November weather with my partner and my dog, before visiting our local bookstore and ordering takeout without guilt and eating so much cake. I get to see my family to celebrate on Saturday, which will be nice. I’m very excited about all of these things!
Yet, the state of the world is shit. A pandemic ignored and just left to protect ourselves as best we can, which becomes harder and harder every day. Unchecked capitalism running rampant, causing mass layoffs across the board and resulting in so many friends job searching unnecessarily. A fucking genocide happening live, my tax dollars being used to fucking fund it, despite my protests against it. Climate change, inflation, overworked and underpaid…
It’s no wonder my mental health is hard to cope with, sometimes. Even reading my 30th birthday post, to prepare turning 31, so many of the dreams I listed as dreams the next decade feel so…impossible. It’s a bit disheartening, if I’m honest. I don’t think I can celebrate my birthday without just acknowledging that it’s hard. Life, right now. It’s all really fucking hard.
But, there is hope. I have to believe that, have to remember what Sam taught me. Though it feels bleak and there are reminders of how horrid the world is and people can be in every moment. There is, also, hope, in so many forms. Mutual aid. Protests in the streets. Unions and strikes (and momentous wins). Communities that care and individuals who haven’t given up. I have to believe that things will get better; that we can work to make them better.
I hope I live long enough to see a world so much kinder, so much more compassionate, than the one we live in now.
On a smaller, more personal scale, it’s important for me to remind myself to not let the bleakness of reality and the weight of the world take away the hopes and dreams I have for myself. Many of them that I laid out before still ring true. They are dreams I still have. I still chase them, ceaselessly.
So, in honor of surviving one year in my thirties, here are just a few mantras I hope to take into my 31st year of living.
- I am allowed to take up space, to use my voice and to show myself as unapologetically me.
- My stories matter and deserve to be published; to be on shelves, in bookstores; to be read; to be loved.
- I deserve to feel confidence and express it in many forms and many ways.
- There is a balance between being selfish and selfless. It’s time to tip those scales back towards me to realign it properly.
- Guilt plagues me, but it doesn’t need to own me. Not anymore.
- I am still learning who exactly I am. I am allowed to create a life that supports this vision.
I hope, beyond hope, that on November 3rd, 2024, you get to meet the woman who lives by these principles and hear about the journey of how she got there. I, personally, cannot wait to know her, wholly and fully.
I know this isn’t the normal tone of my usual birthday posts. It is a bit more somber, but it is also real for me, in this moment. I’m choosing to honor that. 31, you have much to live up to and even more to give. I am excited to see what you hold.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also wish the happiest and most sincere birthday wishes to my twin in so many ways, Meredith! She is my birthday twin, my broken brain buddy, my favorite writer, one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met and just an amazing person. Please, go shower her with all the birthday wishes and kindness (perhaps here or here)! I love you so, so much, Mere!
And thank you so much for being here. For supporting me and being a safe space for me. I may not be as active as I wish, but I love this blog and this little community so much. May 31 be the best year yet. 🖤