by Agnes a Paris
Tue Dec 5th, 2006 at 04:02:28 PM EST
First everyday is somebody's birthday. So what's so special about that altogether?
Second, birth dates are known for sure in the Western world only. I remember as a schoolgirl in Ivory Coast seeing the birth date of late President Houphouet Boigny altered every year in our schoolbooks, a convenient way to keep him eternal until the natural end of his term eventually arrived (he did not need running for 3 subsequent elections).
Third, I prefer offering gifts than receiving them; the charge of proving happy with the gift does not rest upon my shoulders.
Enough irony. Humor is a convenient shelter for sure but I have decided to write about my all-favorite subject, myself, so jump below the thread or leave it when it's still time.<s> By the way, writing being considered a way to confront one's demons, it is only natural I give my own self priority.
When I was in my late twenties, my birthday was a landmark date in my personal history of the year. I used to try and assess my expected level of happiness according to what I had achieved using bulletproof criteria reflecting my ascension of the social and professional ladder. Agreed, I would not have got along very well with then self had I met her today. The inputs were all in the rosy range: a job my male colleagues were envying me, a happy couple with an amazing husband (the Prince Charming-escaping from Cinderella-for my eyes only kind), and wealth. Strangely enough, the outputs of the black box I was using to set my score on the happiness scale were puzzling. I was not happy.
So I thought I would do more, work harder, and spend more quality time with my husband, friends, and hope for 48 hours days. Then I heard wonder woman was not hype any longer which I took as a sign of precocious senility, not even being able to keep pace with the trends any longer. Then I stopped thinking at all, which admittedly was much more convenient on the short term but bound to backlash.
Life having spared me a lot in the past decade remembered there was someone out there forgetting it was too short. Do we need to experience loss to feel how much we care? Apparently I did.
Today, no that long later in real time, amazingly though if I follow my perception of the last two years, I am aware of what I have and why I feel happy. Awareness. Promise, no flimsy concept borrowed from some guru. I no longer nurture misplaced conceit (life has squeezed it out for me, for the better), and feel grateful for what I have left, even if the image is no longer quite that of super woman.
Still my birthday today is one of the best I can remember. I did not receive teddy bears and dolls like when I was a child, but phone calls, mails and texts, and the best present I got is confidence that I can carry on through life without too much fear, for people by my side believe in me when my own belief is wavering.