So I am another year older. And it’s okay. When I was thinking about my upcoming birthday a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but think about the things that I had missed out. I have seen my younger sisters have babies, a total of 4 between the two sisters and I think, well my biological clock is winding down and I will not have babies of my own. But then I realize that my nieces and nephews are my babies too. I have watched them grow up these last 3 and a half years and realize there are many more years for me to enjoy with them. I may not have spent 9 months brooding over the book “What to Expect when you are Expecting,” but I love them all the same and the perks are that as an aunty, I can spoil them like crazy. I have seen my other sister finally settle down (I hope) and finally move into a place that she call her own whereas I am still living at home. And when I think about things like that, then I wonder what kind of choices I was making back then that would result in a life like mine.
But then again, there were some things that I didn’t choose. I didn’t choose to get sick with depression. And I have to admit that I didn’t choose to get better. But I also have to admit, that I didn’t think I was sick. It took a really good friend to see that something was wrong and it was his nagging that got me to do something just so he would shut up. So sometimes, it’s not the choices oneself makes, but the choices that others make that affect your life. Because he was the only friend who said anything and kept saying something. Everyone else that I called my friends made the cursory attempt, but left it after the first attempt.
I don’t blame them for their choice. It’s hard to help someone who isn’t willing to admit something is wrong. Even now, with this “confession”, no one really knows who I am. It’s still an anonymous confession. My sisters did not find out all at once. I told one sister a few weeks after I was put on medication, another found out a few months later. To this day, that period in my life is a blur and I do not remember much from those years. The other sister wasn’t told until much later and even now, she doesn’t seem to understand the seriousness of depression. But that is much like the majority of people I know. Depression is not just about feeling sad. Telling me that things will be okay does not make me feel better. But I don’t blame her or anyone else that says stuff like that.
So, back to choices. Now that my birthday has come and gone. I am happy with my choices in life. I may not have my own babies, but I have more freedom to just get up and do stuff that I want without having to plan out logistics about babysitters, and baby friendly venues. I don’t have my own place, but I have a housesitter for when I go away on my travels. I have been medication free for 4 years now and during those tough years, the academic in me has learned a new way to see life. There will always be negative things that happen, you just have to find the positive, even if it’s a tiny positive. I still have bad thoughts that pop in my head, but I can work it out better than before.
And back to my birthday. I chose to travel to my favourite city in the world and I am travelling with my mom who is also enjoying her time here as well. And though I can’t say that I’ve purchased anything of major significance in this city of excessive consumer goods, it’s really not about shopping anymore and just spending time in a place that I love, with good company – yes my mom is good company, and just relaxing and doing things that I enjoy, like writing and knitting. Oh and eating good food. So, I am another year older and I had a very Happy Birthday.