Okay, so yesterday was my 29th birthday. I'm wishing myself belated birthday greetings, which probably explains why it is I send everybody belated birthday greetings. Usually birthdays are an annoyance to me, especially if I spend them alone, like I did yesterday. From my 22nd birthday to my 26th birthday, it was just a bad day. Let's see--my 22nd I was working like mad to finish a paper so I could graduate a week later, and assiduously avoiding all my classmates who were already finished, and especially avoiding my ex boyfriend, who I'd treated rather shabbily, and missed terribly. I don't remember my 23rd, so it couldn't have been too bad or too good--I was probably in Utah babysitting or something. The next year I was getting over another break-up, and spent the entire day alone because all of my church friends were off on a field trip I would have liked to attend, but I was again assiduously avoiding an ex. The next year wasn't too horrible--I was still in state college, but my birthday landed on a Sunday, so I at least had a big break the fast gathering to attend and Derrick visited. Derrick was the best part of that day. I made a cake that year for myself--white cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream for icing--that was the precursor to Derrick's and my awesome wedding cake (thank you Mimi!). That was definitely the best birthday I had in state college since the next year I defended my master's and spent the rest of the day crying because I was so tense.
I've been much happier since I got married in general, and my birthdays are markedly better, especially than my early 20's, but I still dislike them (at least, the even numbered ones, apparently). I spend the day feeling bad. It's really much better if I work because I can't mope so much, but I wish I didn't feel like moping in the first place. I certainly felt loved this year--a bunch of people called and emailed, which kept me from feeling like too much of a loser. So, thank you to all who remembered me on my birthday!
I think much of the moping is simply looking over my life, thinking about where I am now and where I think I *should* be. I'm a little frustrated to still be in grad school, though honestly not that much--I like what I'm doing, I like where I am for the most part, and I'm grateful for all of the experiences I've had along the way to this point. I'm even finding myself at least occasionally grateful for the bad experiences--even the bad birthdays!--because they're part of what makes me who I am, and I like that person. I'm excited about my future (even my first professional talk), and I can't wait to see where Derrick and I land next--together this time!