Last year I turned twenty-nine on the twenty-ninth, and like every birthday, I just wanted to have one day where nothing went wrong; nothing inconvenienced me, whatever I wanted (in terms of retail) would be in stock and at a reasonable price. Thinking back, I remember purchasing a handful of DVDs (possibly a book too) but experiencing no…transcendent sensation of satisfaction or joy. Up until today, and turning thirty, the only boon of my birthday was in the unintentional triumph of being two days older than Justin Timberlake. Speaking of whom, the business of tearin up his and his former mates’ hearts is a very catchy ditty. I like my version more:
It messes up my car when you need to pee,
but when you hold it in it’s unhealthy
and no matter what I do you still refuse to let it flow;
Baby, I don’t understand
why you don’t just go,
Things are getting kind of gross,
Look at yourself
you’re shaking like a broken limb
Let it flow,
if you’ve got to go, then go
I’ll be down by that tree
I can’t take it anymore
Today constitutes the best birthday ever in my conscious memory…not because there was pomp and circumstance or an outpouring of adoration (although, there was yesterday)…
Click here to see my outfit.
No, today has been the best cause I’ve never felt so awful (physically) and marvelous (mentally) at the same time. I woke up with a terrible headache that was briefly diminished with some lunch and an espresso product at my favorite Starbux in the city. In the three to four hours that I was there, I was infused with a moment of profundity when I understood that the lesson in patience that I’ve been learning recently requires that I not be passive. I must contribute to its internalization and its germination. I hadn’t seen it from that angle prior to today…during the pain of blood vessels constricting in my noggin. I also decided against watching The Mechanic because I knew it would worsen my headache. So, instead, I went to the Barnes & Noble across the street, purchased a DVD…and then went next door and purchased six more DVDs.
My headache came back with full force by the time I was getting ready to go back home. Every step that I took to the car made my head throb, every set of too-bright-headlights in my rearview mirror shouted “bloody murder!” at my temples. And yet, I felt amazing. I know firsthand that there are specific kinds of physical pain that also manifest themselves and become processed as pleasure, but this headache was not that sort of pain. The wonderful feeling that I experienced at the same time that I felt terrible was due to what I’d learned about my role in self-actualization. Moreover, I no longer viewed my headache as an inconvenience to my day. It throbbed, it made its presence known, but it would still be welcomed at the table.
Next year, I’ll hope to have a birthday like this year’s…headache or no.