On the eve of my twenty-second birthday, I cried. This wasn’t the type of crying where you shed a few tears and then quickly wipe them away. This was full-on ugly, “mine eyes water my pillow at night” crying. I felt so unconsolably pathetic as poor Tyson patted me on the back and said, “It’s okay, don’t cry.” That didn’t help very much. He asked, “Is this because you feel like you’re twenty-two and you haven’t done anything with your life?” No, but thanks…*
I was crying because this was my first birthday as a married woman, my first birthday living in Utah, my first birthday really far away from most of my family and friends. I felt so alone, even though I knew that I wasn’t.
I finally stopped crying and went to sleep. I woke up to texts and wall posts from people who loved me and who remembered me, even though I was far away from them. All day, my phone rang with people who were glad that I was born twenty-two years ago. Packages, cards, and letters came in the mail– gifts from my friends and family.
I’d been dreading my birthday all week because I was afraid that people would forget about me and that I would feel alone that day. All day, however, I kept getting little reminders of what I sometimes doubt:
You are not alone, and you are not forgotten.
Thank you. The biggest thank you of all should really go to my mom for giving birth to me, or picking up the basket with baby me inside of it from her doorstep, as the story goes. The second biggest thank you goes to my husband for treating me like a princess all day. And the third biggest thank you goes to all of my friends and family who texted, called, facebooked, myspaced, carrier pigeoned, smoke signaled, telegraphed, e-mailed, snail mailed, etc. to wish me a happy birthday. Thank you for thinking that I’m special. You all make me feel like the luckiest twenty-two year old in the world.
*Editor’s Note: When Tyson read this entry, he said that I’d misquoted him, so he asked if I could make an editor’s note and correct it. What he actually said was, “Is this because you’re twenty-two, and you think you haven’t done anything with your life?”