I turned 39 last Saturday. Usually I am very excited about my birthday, and in some ways I still am, but this year my birthday seems so different. I feel very melancholy about my day of birth. I am surviving cancer and earlier this year I faced the possibility of not living that much longer.
This is the birthday that is more than a celebration of linear time, but a celebration of life. This is the birthday that I celebrate third chances. I am alive! I have lived through a fatal disease.
I now know I can get through anything.
I am still scared of not getting through things.
I don’t believe in fate or a puppet master God. I don’t believe that my life has been pre-destined in stone, so whatever I do has been prophesized by the Muses. I believe that life is random, chaotic and we try to instill our own meaning the best we can, but I can’t help that this birthday reminds me that I still have something I have to do.
I just don’t know what that is.
It seems the older I get the less I know. The good news is that I don’t feel the weight of the stupid world on my shoulders anymore. I don’t feel like I have to be the smartest person in the world. In fact, I feel so much better bowing to the louder, younger voices and walk into the woods ignoring all of it. The world is beautiful and wonderful the way it is, it’s all of you that keep screwing it up.
I know that I want to create. I love the written word, but I also love illustration and abstract art. I know that I love music and miss making it. I know that I have thousands of ideas swirling around in my head, but feel like I don’t have time or the resources to make a reality.
I also feel that I still have some of my mind trying to recover from chemo, so I don’t feel like I’m all here.
I’m almost 40 years old and I think it’s high time I drop the rock and start just doing it. Sometimes I feel pressure to be something great after surviving cancer.
I also have to remember what I have. I am so grateful for what I have today, and that I kept in spite of barely making it this last year. Earlier this year I felt like I lost everything, but really it was just shedding some skin and growing a new one.
I still have an amazing family that puts up with me and my insanities and being a weirdo. Without them I have no idea how I would have gotten through this last year. I will never be able to thank them enough for supporting me financially and emotionally and letting me live there, giving me rides and making me lunches for my chemo appointments.
I have a host of friends who carried me through a very tough year. Without them I would have forgotten how to laugh and enjoy life even when it didn’t seem all that enjoyable. I love my Feral Skunks and my D&D crews. I love Max and his generosity and helping me to make sure I was taken care of during all of this.
I love my home.
My ex-girlfriend was there even as an ex and continues to be a huge support to me. She is the best ex-girlfriend a guy could have.
My current girlfriend is amazing, beautiful and her smile is my light at the end of the tunnel. She is helping me see what my life can be now that I have this new chance at life and it seems wonderful. What a great companion to have to look at things and look for rocks and salamanders, watch grow and help me not be a stubborn asshole and just a good teacher. She is someone that can jump in the car and drive out to have an adventure listening to Billy Joel and Frank Sinatra while talking – or not. I love drinking tea and reading in bed together. She is perfect.
I am more interested in what my life has in store for me than ever before. While I don’t have that zest for life that someone who almost died has sometimes, I do want to live it the way I want to live it, and now I have to find how to do that. I don’t find the exactly what I’m doing all that depressing, but exciting and wonderful.