My Birthday Gift to Myself
I haven't celebrated my birthday in six years. Internally, I'm screaming. But at least I'm making a sound. I went mute for six years and that's the nice way of putting it. I DIED. This week, six years ago, my dad passed away. I remember waking up and thinking it was a nightmare but it wasn't. Instead of a birthday dinner or partying, I was burying him and still couldn't even digest the fact that he was gone. It's weird how everything can move quickly and yet I still felt like nothing was moving at all.
I didn't realize it then but my stepmother did me a huge favor by moving the funeral the original date. So long story short, August is a wave of emotions for me and I've spent it grieving instead of celebrating. I can't tell you what's different about this year; why I actually wanted to go out or why I even let my friends come to spend it with me. And maybe, that's not for me to know. The timing of God's renewal is none of my business. I'm just happy that this year, she chose me.
Since I'm finally acknowledging my birthday, I decided to give myself a gift. FREEDOM. Freedom to grieve loudly, laugh hysterically, and write my truths. I'm giving myself the freedom to occupy space without worrying if a man, a colleague, or a stranger will dislike me for it. My gift is this radical concept of self-love, Black excellence, and no guilt trips when I buy my daughter take-out for dinner. (I BE TIRED) I'm telling myself that I don't have to make you look good after you've hurt me deeply. Your reputation is your responsibility. My healing is my own and I owe it to myself and those who love me, the freedom to tend to my wounds by revealing that I have them. The freedom to show my scars and remember to plainly say, "It hurt but I still won."