Of course I’m a Water Dog Capricorn…because that sounds awful and not cool.

by Amelia Kanan

I had a birthday. Yesterday. My golden to be exact. 29 on the 29th. Like many people, I’ve had a hard struggle with my birthday. It was lifelong up until a few years ago when the birthday grievances actually stopped and I thought I had finally outgrown it.

Let me begin with the earlier years when the issue lay with the actual timing of my birthday. It’s four days after Christmas and two days before New Year’s Eve. This translated to me being out-of-town with my family and away from friends, which made it impossible to have a normal kid birthday party. To be fair though, it wasn’t horrible because my relatives and loved ones reflected their sympathies through an abundance of presents which made up for it. Not to mention, as I got older, the timing actually grew to be a benefit. In college, I would come home for Christmas and be able to spend it with my friends and family that I didn’t get to see very often. Even today, since tt’s a designated holiday time of year, I get to travel and see whom ever I wish for my special day (obviously dependent on my financial sitch). Timing, however wasn’t the only problem.

At the ripe age of 17 a new ish struck. Age. Mortality. Death. The idea of my youth being over hit me so hard I went to a psychic. This cliché of a gray-haired hippie woman took a look at my palm and told me I would die young, before the age of 25 to be exact and it would be such a huge accident that it would be on the news. Well, as much as I tried to not allow this to affect me, it did. I lived in the moment, spent money generously and flew by the seat of my pants. Most people chalked this lifestyle up to the fact that I was a free spirit and as much as I lived with that thought as well I underneath the freethinking facade existed a terrible amount of anxiety and depression. And I couldn’t help but notice the change that took place within me after my 25th birthday which is when I truly found some sort of peace. I could shake things off much easier, I lost a lot of my dramatic tendencies and my outlook on life was actually hopeful and somewhat promising. It was as if I had been set free from a cage and had never even known I had been in one until I was released. That year, I drove cross-country all by myself, settled into independence and became my own best friend. I felt so happy to be existing and living a life that had no expiration date attached that it ignited this flame that still burns inside me to be the best human being I am meant to be. My birthdays from 25 on turned out to be great no matter what I did. One was spent watching Tivo with two friends, another I planned a party, one was spent photographing with my best friend and another took place in Chicago with old friends. I thought I had conquered this birthday thing once and for all but then…yesterday came.

I felt different the moment I woke up. I was a little melancholy and although I could answer the phone and socialize just fine, I felt a dark undertone inside my soul. It’s the first birthday I’ve cried on in years and I’m mourning the break in the streak. I’m not sure exactly what the tears were for and if they were really even attached to my birthday. I have a feeling the tears were a response to all this change I’m going through, endings and beginnings, where I am and who I am. Birthdays are a day of reflection and assessment. Already looking back at my birthday I can see how perfect it was and how it reflected the bridge that I am standing on. The simplicity, spontaneity, casualness, contentment and even the hour of tears. It cleansed me and today, the day after the 29th, I feel content, happy and nothing but thrilled for what life has in store for me.