I used to love my birthday. With every year that goes by, I'm generally happier and more comfortable being me. But when you're a single, childless 30-something, birthdays can be delicate. If you can keep the demons at bay and focus only on the cake and booze, there is a chance the birthday can pass quietly — pleasantly even. But more often than not, one of those little demons sneaks through the gates, and the birthday ends up like the opening scene of "Bridget Jones's Diary." Some years, the demons break down the gates to hell and just start pouring into your consciousness.
This year, the birthday was approaching more on par with a Bridget Jones drunken karaoke tradition. There isn't anything going wrong in my life, but I am at a stage that feels stagnant. There is the single and childless status, the generalized anxiety brought on by graduate school, the dull and constant low-level depression of living in Trump's America. Still, I was looking forward to the birthday weekend. Then, in a spectacular show of poor timing, I combined a shitty day at work with the terrible decision to read the news, and the bombshell of an ex popping up on social media to announce a new relationship. Those fucking demons really got me.
My amazing friends, of course, rallied with all the booze, cake, flowers and love that I could ever hope for. But I still woke up Monday morning with Monday-level excitement for my lame Monday birthday.
As I begrudgingly left for work, I noticed a bottle of wine and some pretty succulents were left on my patio table. There was also a card drawn by my little 6-year-old neighbor Carson. The card is spectacular as only a card drawn by a child can be. There are happy flowers, a rainbow, big fluffy clouds and a tall tree with bunches of grapes growing on its branches. But my favorite part is the portraits at the bottom. There is a drawing of my dog saying, "ruff," next to a girl with blonde hair labeled "Liz." And then, most curiously, a drawing of a man.
Do I have a roommate I wasn't aware of? Or perhaps a stalker who hangs out at my house when I'm at work or sleeping? Is Carson one of those kids who sees dead people?
Maybe. Or maybe he has foreseen my next relationship. I'm choosing to believe that my 6-year-old neighbor is a tiny soothsayer, that he has drawn a new character into my 34th year. I'm not into new-agey philosophy, so I'm sure I will botch this theory, but isn't there a whole thing about manifesting whatever you want? I think the universe is talking to me through Carson, and now I just have to let that shit come to fruition.
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