Samstag, 6. Juni 2015

The happiest birthday girl of all times: all about the (dream) birthday (trauma).

A few days ago I celebrated my 41st birthday. 
The children and I sat on a rooftop patio in the middle of San Francisco, enjoying our lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and talking about the highlights and mishaps of past kids’ birthday parties - you know what I mean: 
Those stories, when the birthday child can’t handle all the festivities anymore, breaks down crying and yells at all her 4-year-old guests. 
By the way, in hindsight this is very, very funny. 
Yet only in hindsight, just as my own story that I had forgotten about for years and that I suddenly remembered up there on the rooftop patio. 

A story of suffering, mind you, as in former days I couldn’t think of any one day more horrible than my own birthday. 
A week before I was already tremendously anxious about it, and I usually spent the day crying and needed two additional days to recover from it. 
No kidding!

Why this was so?
The whole thing was a disgusting mix of not clearly defined expectations on my behalf about how the day was supposed to play out – and the guaranteed disappointment and the fear in face of the former, respectively. 
I cannot even say exactly what I expected, point is everything was WRONG, everything was TOO LITTLE, everything was deeply DEPRESSING and above all: 
Nothing but desperate.

And how frustrating for everybody involved, including my own family! 
For no matter what they did, it was all WRONG, TOO LITTLE, etc. anyway. 
And my husband generally did everything even more wrong than wrong, because I was so extremely demanding that I was disgusted by myself. 
And as unliberated as can be on this day. 

Jil can still remember it, by the way ("Oh yeah, that was always super terrible.”) – my other kids don’t remember anything, which makes me assume that it must have happened a few years back. 

As I said: I assume. 
Because sometime, somewhere I simply lost it, just by the way, so that I only became aware of it again right now. 
Something else I noticed: this year I was really happy about my own birthday and I was so excited and joyful like a 5-year-old, who not only receives everything she ever wished for, but a rainbow-colored unicorn on top of it. 

Funny enough, particularly this year nothing exciting and surprising happened, as the children had little opportunity to prepare anything without access to a car and my husband just sent me a quick “Happy Birthday” via What's App.

But that didn’t dampen my joy, quite on the contrary! 
I bought myself the most stylish birthday cake I could find. 
And birthday lingerie. 
And a round of birthday Levi’s for all the girls. 
And a picture-book birthday dress (which is worth a blog post in itself). 
I was happy as Larry about every single birthday wish and posted tons of pictures on Instagram and would have loved to put a sparkly crown saying “Birthday Girl" on my head. 
And then we drove across Golden Gate Bridge and maybe I had to cry just a teeny tiny bit with joy – simply, because I could hardly stand being so grateful. 

Grateful not because of the bridge, the dress or California, but brimming with extreme gratitude that I even exist in this world.

Oh, how lucky I am! 

Why do I write this?

Because I am convinced that many people are so trapped in their own expectations that they are utterly depressed, if things don’t go the way they had wished for.

It can be one single day like a birthday, as in my case, and if you are honest: c'mon already, it is just this one crappy day; you’ll get over it.  

But it can also be your wedding day:  
For there could have been more flowers. And the groom should have prepared a soulful speech. And besides, the whole wedding should have had the soft blurriness of romantic atmospheres from beginning to end, just like in the wedding blogs. 
Unfortunately the groom didn’t care one bit about neither the speech nor the blurriness and now there you are, crying your eyes out. 

Or you have a kind of life plan and it doesn’t happen the way you had ideally envisioned. 
You wanted to have had two kids by the age of 30 and a terraced house with a sofa and a labrador retriever matching its color. 
Now you find out that you can’t have children. 
Or the husband had an affair and you are getting a divorce. 
Or you go bankrupt, or you lose your job, or you still don’t have a house, or a husband, or a dachshund even at age 40. 
Or something unforeseen happens and all you can think is: 

Utterly unhappy. 

And this is why I tell you today: 
What the heck.
If you don’t have a concrete image, but decide to enjoy whatever comes along, no wishful thinking can set you any limitations. 
It was too small for you anyway, only freedom in every aspect befits you, nothing else. 
And this means freedom from any life plans (big or small ones) – and the possibility to enjoy every second independent of them. 

This freedom also means that the most beautiful things suddenly surprise you without having known beforehand how lovely they are, such as a spontaneous invitation to go on a Harley bike trip into the sunset in California for the birthday girl. 

And how do you arrive there? 
This of all things I won’t tell you today – as in my case it was suddenly gone, love had removed it entirely without my own efforts. 
But since I think that regarding the areas I am free in myself I can set my readers free in, too, let’s have a free round of “freedom from expectations” for everyone today! 
Just because my love is so strong. 

We’ll do the Levi’s round next year then! 

Happy Birthday to me!


p.s. I didn’t like the cake, by the way, because I had failed to hear the word “white” in connection with “chocolate”. 

And who even wants white chocolate  :(?

Translated by Ginnell Studio.

1 Kommentar: