I have been living in agony for a week or so now. Each day it grows bigger and bigger. I should go to the ER. I actually am aware of that and as my pain blossoms forth a little more I hold out for the appointment on Wednesday. I cross my fingers and toes and hope. I have been thinking today about what i want outof life and what it means to be alive. I do this every birthday, and this year I find my answers shifting. I want… nothing I do not have.  There are things I need but a want is not intrinsically a need. Needs being food, shelter, kitten hugs, etc. A want is dolls, a new computer, that sort of thing. While there are minimal wants there that are things, that is not the same as looking at my life and realizing it needs no changes.

I am looking at surgery most likely to treat what ails me. I know what it is. I know my options. I accept this. I must prepare a living will, I must decide just in case how I want my things disseminated and this has me looking at old ties. I wondered for a bit of my mother misses me or has regrets that I am not in her life. Then I think on that and I found to me it really didn’t matter. Her not being in my life has changed things for the better and a recent bout of facebook looking reaffirmed that my racist, homophobic, hate filled family really is toxic. I envisioned myself having them around out of the fear of being alone with this or any big challenge and I saw it would be harder.  I have stability. They are the epitome of instability.

From my first surgery to this impending one I have had rituals. I am breaking them now. My cats will not be uprooted and put elsewhere. My carer will come to them. I am not going to try and comfort everyone around me. I do not have to because the people I chose for my life are immensely wonderful. Some are far away but they feelso close via the gift of the internet. I can confide in them, laugh with them, call them up on the phone or skype if I have word power. They are not just people I want in my life and that I chose but refueling stations for my will and hope.

I am twenty nine today. Usually on my birthday I feel old and worn out. Usually the fight to just get to one more has me taxed. This year I had to ask for help repeatedly. I had to beg for a blanket, surge protectors, and food. Yet I didn’t LITERALLY have to beg. I really had to just ask. My pride dramatized it. After the concession of pride I found a new level of safety, security and love. I am loved. I feel it every moment of every day. I think back to thebirthdays whenI was young. I would try so hard to not upset anyone so that they might wish me happy birthday. Today I have so many emails, facebook posts, cards, letters and more and I cannot muster a reply to all of them reasonably. I couldn’t see that when I was young.

I am not old. Today I am an adult. I was last birthday too but today I can feel just who I am. No skewing too young or too old. No epic battle on the horizon for my future except medically. No fighting my exhusband so I can just be alive. No fighting for food because there is now a health food store I can go buy things at to liven up my diet. No. I can just be. I will make it to my appointment on Wednesday. I will make it through the decisions my doctor makes. It will be what it is. Today. That day.

This is the first birthday since I was three and the concept of old age struck me where I have not felt old. I am tired. I am in pain. I am alive. I am not wasted away into something useless by age or my infirmity. Today? I became young. Now I will be young even if I live to be 100 years old.

What I am about to do now? I am writing my will and living will. Ihave held back for years out of fear of them being necessary. They still might be but I can trust the people in my life to actually respect my wishes. This is the best birthday gift I could give myself.

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