This is weird. Well, I suppose not really weird because I have a constant dialog in my head throughout most of the day but it’s odd to talk to myself through the words on the screen this way. Anyway, before I get into a tailspin around my weirdness, let me get down to business. Happy birthday Denira. It’s easy to wish someone I love, celebrating a loved one’s birthday makes me remember all of the reasons I’m grateful to have them in my life and that I actually feel privileged to be a part of their journey. Somehow, I struggle to do the same for myself, I struggle to let go of the negative self-talk and just appreciate who I am. Wait, hold on a minute. Have I just admitted that I don’t feature on the list of people I love? Man, that’s deep and to think we’re not even through the first paragraph yet. I’m almost impressed at how broken of a human I am. But suppose, just for today, I imagine I am someone else. Suppose just for today, I have a conversation with myself as though I am someone that I love. Do I have the courage to show up that way or to even post this once I’m done? Let’s see.
Denira, I don’t really know how to tell you how I feel or how to wish you a happy birthday. I want to say that you fascinate me. I want to say that I love the way you think and that you’re funny, compassionate and creative. You’re interesting beyond just the things you find interesting, I guess getting to spend the rest of my life getting to know you would be an adventure, an epic journey. Not one that would be easy but definitely one that would be worthwhile. This would usually be the part where I start to say that all of this is difficult for me because my relationship with you has always been strained but for today I forgive us for being so silly about this concept of self-love. Because when I think about it, I do love you. I love that when someone’s going through a rough patch you show up for them, I love that you talk and sing to your dogs (even though the dogs aren’t always willing recipients). I love your honesty. I love that you think deeply about things, that you question and challenge everything including yourself. I want to joke about you being hard to love but you’re not, you’re human (even though you did think you were an alien that one time). You’re a complex person with simple hopes, dreams and desires- to be heard, to be known, to be understood and to be loved. And I know that you know that, because it’s how you connect with others. I also know that sometimes you hide your sadness behind a smile and that no one on earth is meaner to you than you are to yourself. I don’t really know why though, perhaps that’s something you and I need to figure out together.
If I had only one wish for you on your birthday, I wish that you remember who you are. Not what you’re good at, not what’s going to get you your next promotion but just who you are. I wish you remember that girl who loved writing more than anything. I wish you’d remember the courage you have to stand true to what you believe (yes, Husband does call it being stubborn, but this isn’t about him). I wish you never forget that nothing is worth sacrificing who you are. Out of the billions of people that exist, there is exactly one version of you. It’s the same version of you with the terribly weak selfie game, the same version who wants to start every sentence with “I’m reading this book…”, the same version who falls down with both feet planted firmly on the ground. It’s the same version of you who shuts both her eyes and asks if she’s winking knowing full well she isn’t. It’s the same version of you that finds laughter in everything. It’s the same version of you that I love and appreciate. So happy birthday dear self, it’s disgustingly corny, but it’ll do – the world is better because you’re in it. So let’s celebrate that you were born, let’s raise our glasses and hold each other tight because at the end of day “we are the ones we have been waiting for”.