My life of late has been filled with library book requests for sparkly tales of evening gowns and formal balls; avidly following the story of a brave young woman getting a very Disney makeover; and birthdays. My own personal philosophy includes the idea that birthdays are for princesses or at least acting like your fairy godmother has visited and is happy to grant your every wish.
This past week I spent My Day touring around a nearby area taking pictures, popping into shops and eating good food. Then I had an evening of dinner and a movie with my dear friends. It didn’t rain and the day itself was magical. The images I found captured my mood and all the quirky attributes of the places I visited.
I did have one errand to run and it involved going to the Social Security office. It turns out that the birthdate they have listed for me is a whole year older than what I know to be true. The date was entered many, many years ago, so why would there have been a mistake? I began second guessing myself, feeling that lost year slip away is if it were made of tiny grains of sand. Nothing like a supposed clerical error to make you question your place in this world.
But then when I came home I got out the original birth certificate and I saw that what I had thought to be true was there documented in black and white; the very same date I have repeated from memory since forever. I let out a sigh of relief and the world righted itself. In a weird twist of fate, the book I am reading now involves a case of mistaken identity. The woman who the main character thought was her mother was not actually the woman who gave birth to her. It’s a novel that is engaging and thoughtful with phrases that catch in your throat. I’ve underlined several parts I want to commit to memory, to make them a part of me. But if you ask my family they would tell you that they wish I would choose different books to read and that would supply me with with other points to ponder. I just saw a review of “My Foot is Too Big for That Slipper.” Maybe that’s a better set of principles to follow than looking to fictional characters for life lessons. Maybe…
The cards I got for my birthday were stunning and beautiful. I could sense how each was especially chosen. As I pulled them out of their envelopes there was an instant connection with the images; old books, whales, sparkly shoes, bunnies, typewriters, ocean boardwalks, foxes and intense close-ups of flowers. If I lined them all up, you would get a very clear picture of the person I am today. The words penned inside each blew me away, and the of course made me cry. It’s nice to feel special on days like that. And even though the progression of years and every celebration takes you closer and closer to whatever will be, I would much rather have those special days, those memories, those connections, than an aching, empty infinity.