On my 27th birthday, a coworker forced me to have a birthday party I never wanted because: A. I had never been drunk and B. because she was a pill addict and wanted a less obvious way to look in my purse while we shared an uber on my way home.
There I was drunk. Crawling my way up to my apartment because this so-called friend didn’t even help me up after I got out of the car! I began professing my feelings on Facebook to a former crush whom I had to face the very next day, I tried to maintain my focus long enough to pay for my pizza from the driver and later ordered seashells online. (Didn’t know until the next day)
That night, I also had a table full of coworkers who listened to me share stories of being dick slapped on the top of my head by a former lover and every wacky sexual experience I encountered. They laughed, but they weren’t laughing with me. They were laughing at me and I had never felt more alone.
28th birthday was the same. Got drunk for the second time and I went home. I think I may have professed my feelings yet again to this crush and dodged him the next day. I may have cried that night. Why wasn’t I over everything I had been through the year prior? I got no phone calls wishing me a happy birthday. I had no furniture, I had no friends, i had no boyfriend, I was alone again.
Today, I am 32 and I had the best birthday ever! I woke up like any other day. Unlike every year, this year I did not call my mother to remind her I existed. I played with my pet, and went for a jog around the park. When I got home I took a long hot shower. I got dressed and attended a new job orientation, where I was offered a full time position. This took me by surprise and I told my supervisor I think about it. Afterwards, I caught the bus to take a graffiti class where I bonded with the instructor. I ate burger King out of desperation and got a hold of some old coworkers to show my graduation photos to. I made plans with them and contacted another old friend and scheduled a breakfast next week with them.
I didn’t feel lonely once. I got through the day, the sun was shining. I wasn’t worried about what others thought of me. I wasn’t worried about whether or not I mattered to anyone, I wasn’t tearing myself down over the things I did not have. I just focused on getting through this busy day. And this is why its my best birthday ever. I didn’t surround myself with people who didn’t have my best interest at heart, nor did I chase after a man that was unavailable. I didn’t seek validation. I no longer care about those things. Here I was facing the very thing I spent years being afraid of: Loneliness.