I turn 27 years old tomorrow. But this post is not to celebrate me. It’s just a birthday; I just happened to shuffle onto this mortal coil on August 24th many moons ago. Whoopity doo.
As I’m comin’ in hot on my 27th year, the only people I can think about is the people who saw me to 27; Even the most badass of badasses (such as myself, ahem) has a core support system. The people who support them, worry about them, care for them in mental and physical sickness, or just love them when there’s nothing else to be done. My people really deserve a good portion of the credit to me being… well, ALIVE and having at least some of my shit together.
My father, whom with I had a strained relationship until I turned 18 and he gave up trying to control me; A blue-collar hero raising what can only be described as “a gaggle of children” who were all exactly like him, which is to say there were ten stubborn motherfuckers in one household. My mother, the very definition of independence, trying to parent her kids better than she had been parented– sometimes succeeding, sometimes not– all while working and going to school. My siblings, all eight million of them; We seem to share one heartbeat and don’t need phone calls or emails to communicate. My inner circle of friends, endlessly giving people who have both watched and helped me as I figure out who I am and my place in this world. They’ve been patient, but are also happy to bitch-slap me back into reality when I need it. And my kids, the biggest personalities I have ever known; Living, breathing lessons in humility and grace and the healing power of a fart joke.
I feel confident in saying that I’ve disappointed these people and made them worry about me countless times– For example, maybe when I was on all those drugs for all those years. Could’ve been when I decided to just not go to high school anymore. Might have been when I was living on a park bench of my own free will and didn’t care to let anyone know where I was. Or perhaps when I was a stripper for a little bit; Hi Dad! Let’s pretend that never happened, mmkay? Or maybe when I was hanging with the wrong crowd in the wrong car and was involved in the wrong police chase and ended up with a brain injury. Or when I was navigating my way through– and OUT– of a flaming shitbag of a marriage to an alcoholic/cokehead. These are just a few possible examples of the times those people have saved me from myself. Just taking wild guesses here, people.
But I’m here now and I’m turning 27 and you guys, get this: I think I’ve got shit figured out. I mean, not entirely– life is a constantly-changing equation after all– but the basics of me and who I am and what the fuck I’m going to do with my life. And I wouldn’t have made it this far without all those incredible people who put up with incredible levels of bullshit from me over the years.
So yeah, tomorrow is my birthday, but more importantly, tomorrow is the 27th anniversary of all those people not giving up on me. And that is worth celebrating.