This is one of the harder times of year for me. Especially right now, the week preceding my birthday. This is the week in which my Uncle died. On my 18th birthday he called (I thought to wish me happy birthday) and told my Mum his cancer had come back, in a different place this time, so we knew there was nothing to do but wait for the end. Almost exactly a year later he died. So my birthday has become a remembrance of death more than a celebration of life.
There's kind of a running theme of being far from family, the frustration of being so far from California when we wanted to do something to ease Glenn's pain, and reliving that by feeling the distance I've put between myself and my parents by moving back to California. Classic homesickness I suppose. I always feel homesick when there's some special event, like our housewarming/open house yesterday. It reminds me how far away I am from a lot of the people I'd really want to invite along. Living in europe wouldn't solve it, it would just mean missing the people I'm around NOW instead of the people I left in the UK. Whine whine, no solution...DEAL WITH IT ROSE-POSE
Part of me wishes for one of those sit-com cliche surprise parties, a wish which is always tempered by the knowledge that half the people I'd want to be there live on the wrong side of the Atlantic, but mostly I just want the week to be over and done with because I'm crying much to easily. Especially since there's really nothing I should be crying about.
I had a really great weekend, second hand clothes shopping with Colin, followed by resisting the pull of the giant lips loveseat and buying a big comfy chair for my room. Yup, I bought a new armchair, in a fabric of my choice, and I can afford it. How very strange that feels. I don't want to get used to buying stuff without guilt, because someday I'll forget to see if I actually can afford whatever it is and end up in debt!
Colin and I tried on many variations on the silly hat theme, and I laughed so much I'm sure I was in danger of developing a hernia. Mixed into the hilarity was a lot of good talking without any particular direction and the occasional running over a dead skunk. Well, ok, we only did that once, and it was by accident, but it really STANK. Ever tried to stop laughing at the stink when every time you take a breath to laugh you get a nice big dose of skunkyness??
Colin has been around for my last two birthdays, he took me down to the Gaslamp to wander around photographing random stuff when I turned 20, and he visited me in London in time to come to my "Birthday dinner" when I turned 21. It's kind of funny that he's been around more than my parents have for my birthdays! Not their fault, I've lived in a different city form them since I was 18. It's just rather amusing that I now have a birthday tradition of "hang out with Colin"
Perhaps it's the actual day itself that's the problem, I've always had great celebrations the weekend after, or even 3 weeks later, but on the day itself I just feel sad and lonely. Even if every family member calls to say happy birthday, like they did when I was a kid. My birthday is one of the few days when I really wish I were grade-school age again, because that’s when your birthdays were just FUN. Cake and presents in bed for breakfast, getting to have a party with fireworks in the garden, all that good stuff. Birthdays away from family are one of the reasons I dread my first Christmas alone. The best bits of those days are the whole sitting about with tea and cake and just celebrating and enjoying being there it never even felt like it was celebrating me specifically, it was an excuse for group family fun. I looked forward to my sister's birthday and my parents almost as much. April fool's day too. It's the traditional innocent fun days that I miss. That's the best bit about being a kid.
I've not forgotten how to have fun, but somewhere along the way the days that were supposed to be all about that good natured feeling have fallen by the wayside and become odd days I don't know what to do with any more.