41

That’s what birthdays were. Days when you found out where you stood. Who was on your side and who wasn’t. Nothing to do with how old you were.” ~ Rupert Thomson, The Five Gates of Hell

One week ago, I quietly slipped into my forty-first year of life.

There was no big party. No big presents. No candles. There wasn’t even a cake.

I remember prior birthdays — last year, two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago… and all I can take away from those days is how deeply unhappy I was. I was always yearning for something, searching for some deeper meaning to my life, and hoping to grasp onto some semblance of happiness.

I realize that this year, for the first year in God only knows how long, I was happy on my birthday.
After forty-one years, I want what I have, and I have what I want: love, strong family bonds, true friends, and a newly-found love for myself.
I am not quite where I want to be, but I am getting closer.
God willing, I will get there.