Congratulations to me, I managed to survive a whole another year and made it to my 23rd birthday. Congratulations to you for still being friends with me and still reading the nonsense that gets posted here. Yesterday I felt loved, I felt sad and I felt excited. Let me walk you through my emotions:
I (for the most part) hate being the centre of attention and I hate having unnecessary attention drawn to me, so I had asked Buttmunch not to tell people that it was my birthday….she clearly failed to understand what “don’t tell anyone it’s my birthday” meant…and although I felt uncomfortable, it ended up being wonderful. The day was spent being lazy, trying (and mostly failing) to write and hanging out with the wonderful women who are at the hostel. Came evening we had a full momo factory going. (If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a delicious momo, you’ve been missing out on some of the best things in life and you should call me so that I can change your life and your experience of food). Anyways, I was a tyrant of a head chef and kindly informed (read: threatened) people that if they didn’t jump in the assembly line and contribute they would be denied dinner. They all responded well to this so I didn’t have to make everything by my self.
I got sidetracked…momos do that to me. Point being, Buttmunch and I are in a hostel with people who are essentially strangers. However, when living with people, being sleepy eyed and eating breakfast together, spending afternoons being lazy or on coffee runs together and after discussing our days over dinner they evolve from strangers to friends and then at some point they start to feel like family. After overeating on momos all of us found ourselves enjoying good music and each other’s company on the roof of our building. There was even cake…and I felt so loved (cake has that effect on me), people who barely knew me went out of their way to celebrate my existence and they made me feel special. I have been blessed over and over and over again on this trip to see human kindness. We have the potential to be such wonderful creatures.
I felt loved because my phone actually rang…multiple times which is beyond exciting because no one ever calls me. (Part of that may be because I’m in India and I think there are a total of 7 people who have my India number, but my phone never rings in Nepal either). Anyways, I got to hear the beautiful and comforting voices of parents, siblings, cousins and friends. Calls across countries and across the globe do wonders in filling my heart with joy…if I were the Grinch phone calls would cause my heart to grow one size, e-mails wishing me well would cause it to grow yet another size and finally….facebook birthday posts would complete my heart growing three sizes larger.
As wonderful as it feels receiving phone calls, e-mails and fb posts – I wish they didn’t happen. I wish that there was no need for them. I wish that everyone that wished me could have actually been here with me. After hanging up the phone or responding to the e-mails and fb posts, I’d always feel a pang of sadness… the click of my phone reminding me of the distance between the people I love and where I was standing. Rather depressing isn’t it? At the end of the day though, I have to acknowledge that despite the distance, I am beyond fortunate to have the people I do in my life and my heart. I am, so so so lucky. Someone please take the responsibility of reminding me of that every day.
I’ve never had a birthday without rain. Never. As a child I hated this. As I emerge into adult/womanhood, my birthday creeps up on me and I’m terrified it won’t rain. I’d been cautiously checking the weather days prior trying to see if my birthday rain would come this year as it has every other year and I had good reason to worry. The entire day went by and although I was told there was a brief sprinkling in some places…I hadn’t felt the rain fall on me.
2 am on the roof, the rains came and although it was no downpour I could feel the droplets kiss my skin and even though technically rain came 2 hours late, it was good enough for me to stand there and feel the water dampen my hair and to feel cold where the wind met the wet on the back of my shirt. Rain gets me so excited.
Every single birthday for the past few years I find myself thinking about the previous year and how I would have never been able to guess where I’d be on this particular day. Last year I spent the turn of 22 with a boy who had my heart in Boston and I would never have been able to guess that one year later I’d be turning 23 and having a momo party with people I’d recently met in Lucknow. As for next year…who knows where I’ll be, who will be with me and how we’ll celebrate it….and that is so exciting.