this year, my birthday is on a monday.
i hate mondays. mondays are the days that i am reminded that i will probably have to work until the day i die. the weekend is over. the fun is over. and now there will be five straight days of “just getting by” until i get to do it again.
mondays remind me that my life still is so very far from what i hoped it would be. from what i still, maybe foolishly, still hold out some hope that it could be.
it’s not my job that bothers me. i have what i consider to be a good job. it’s probably the best job i’ve ever had.
it’s work. it’s all jobs. from the time i worked my first shift back in june of 1995, i knew i was doomed to a life of misery. i hate working.
i guess i should rephrase that. i hate working for other people. i hate “wasting” my brain power so that other people, organizations, or corporations can get ahead, while i lock myself deeper and deeper into being a wage slave. while i sacrifice little slices of sanity and peace every day. while my boundaries get trampled. while i have headaches. while i don’t sleep well.
i love the feeling i get from working hard. i love completing tasks. being organized. attaining mastery of subjects.
i hate the overarching futility that i feel in the modern workplace. the feeling that, after 14 years in the workforce, i still don’t have any real skills.
i should have learned a trade. i love working with my hands. i want to learn to fix cars. i want to open an all-girl garage. this has been a fantasy of mine for a number of years. it was rekindled when a man laughed in my face when i went to get my car looked at on wednesday. he wouldn’t even put it on the lift. he just did the emotional equivalent of patting me on the head and saying, “silly girl, go on home. you don’t know what you’re talking about.” because i don’t know what’s wrong with my car. i just know that it’s making a funny noise.
and when my car breaks down because those guys laughed me out of their shop, they won’t be the ones fixing it.
but anyway. the birthday dread. it’s not just the monday.
it’s the age. the place. everything.
i’m turning 32. and in some ways, i feel the same as i did when i was 26. for those in the know, that means “pre-nashville.” when i lived in nashville, i had friends. and acquaintances. people who would show up and make my birthday special.
here, i have 2 or 3 friends that live in my town. my parents live an hour away. i’m sure i’ll get a birthday dinner or something at their house. a present or two. birthdays have never been huge in my family.
eric is awesome, but he’s not a champ at present-buying. or planning. which isn’t anything i can, or even want to, change. he is so special to me in so many ways. he is thoughtful and caring and kind and even-tempered almost all of the time, which i should think of as my present.
i guess i just miss the feeling special. the big deal. my first year in nashville, there were about 40 people at my birthday party. i got two dozen roses.
my last year in nashville, when i turned 30, my coworkers decorated my cubicle like a vineyard. coworkers wrote me notes on pieces of paper shaped like bunches of grapes. i got taken out to lunch for mexican. i had a great party at my friend linda’s house. i mean, great. it was meaningful. i felt loved. i received the best presents. not even because of their value – because they were thoughtful. they were so me. and i felt known, which has been my quest for basically my entire life.
and, i guess i feel that slipping away. of course eric knows me. but it’s more the friendships that i miss. the specific people. i don’t know them anymore, really. and they don’t know me. and, around here, it’s easy for a birthday to pass and fade with the “birthday girl” not really feeling that special. feeling kind of like an obligation, or something to check off the to-do list.
that is what i dread.