Wanna hear how Jon and I got engaged? A very good friend of mine drowned in college while saving the life of someone else. It was on Jon’s birthday, 8 years ago. A few months later we were all at the bars when a song came on that reminded me of him. I mentioned it to a mutual friend who then told me that it didn’t remind him of Ryan, and that in fact he was over Ryan’s death (I’m sure in retrospect that had to have been a remote stage of grief). Needless to say, the callousness of the statement floored me. When Jon and I were walking back to my house later, I couldn’t help but cry at the idea that if I died right then, people could (would) be over it in a matter of months. I had walked a few feet before I realized Jon wasn’t next to me. I looked around and saw him kneeling in a gravel alleyway. He told me he loved me and would never get over me if I died. He then asked me to marry him. Yeah, we were drunk, and it was cheesy, but it was more sincere than any manipulated fancy-dinner scene, and more apropos to our relationship. It’s one of the coolest proposals I’ve ever heard, in my not-so-humble opinion.

And I tell this not only as an example of what a wonderful husband I have, but also to illustrate that my deepest insecurity is this gaping hole of worthlessness I feel sometimes. If I had to make a psychologically armchaired guess, it probably was seeded growing up as a lonely only-child to a single mother (re: absentee father). It grew when my parents got back together in high school, having a familial do-over with my infant sister that I just didn’t really fit into anywhere. And it most definitely bloomed in college when the (unhealthy) relationship I had put my all into bottomed out. I honestly hate this about myself, but in however many years of recognizing it it’s still there, jumping out every once in a while. And I don’t know what there is to do about it. It’s odd to me that as a girl who is not skinny nor gorgeous, I’ve really had no discernible issues with self image. Only self worth. I kind of wish it were the other way around; lipo and a nose job seem so much easier as a fix.

Even now the only reason it’s come to the front of my mind is because tomorrow is my birthday. The big three-oh to be exact. And everyone keeps asking me how I feel about that. Well, the number means diddly to me, but what’s bothering me is that Jon has to be out-of-town for work. On my birthday. On a Friday. Really, this could sum up to be my worst nightmare: Alone on a Friday night on my birthday. And I’m truly not saying all this in an effort to elicit birthday greetings (though I’d obviously be lying if I said I didn’t care), but I think maybe to name this before it grows into something bigger than it is already. I know it’s not that big of a deal, I know this. I know it’s just a weekday and calendar date. And every year leading up to my birthday I don’t give any thought to it, really. In fact, I lose track of where we are in time anyway most days (as obvious by my post yesterday).

But truthfully and secretly, I do care. A few years ago my dad forgot to call me on my birthday and I was surprisingly crushed. And it’s all hypocritical, seeing how I can remember specifically maybe a handful of people’s birthdays. Everyone else I can narrow it down to the week of. And even then I may not remember in time to get it right. I hate getting birthday gifts because then I feel obligated to give them, and I’m just way, way too lazy and selfish to possibly do that for everyone I know.

But I know that I think of everyone in my life somewhere near their birthday, and try to at least email them sometime in their month. And my birthday always looms in front of me like this taunting test of whether anyone cares. And that’s so pathetic! It really is! I hate admitting it, it feels so vulnerable and weak. But, like I said, I hate giving power to this also, so I’m hoping if I call it out it can’t sneak up and make me feel like crap. I know I’m worthy (blech, even writing the word makes my skin crawl it’s so.. needy) and even if I don’t have a jam-packed day it doesn’t mean I’m not loved.

So. This year I’m gonna take control of this and stop being a wienie. This is a stupid test that’s bound to fail, and each year it’s getting oddly more important. But I don’t like it, so I’m determined to muscle through it and kick it to the curb. Maybe I should turn off the phone and unplug the computer so I can’t have anything to measure.

Yeah right. That’s not going to happen. But it will be fine, I’ll see. πŸ˜‰