The Ides of April

So, we are fast approaching April, which means my SAD is about to kick in.   It means saying goodbye to winter and saying hello to spring, sweating, mosquitoes, and humidity.  Yay.  Really.  Just, yay.  Still, spring isn’t so bad–not in comparison to summer.  I hate summer.  I just want to hibernate until it’s over.

There’s another reason I don’t like April:  I was born in the month.  Now, let me hasten to say that I am not one of those people who bemoan getting older.  I don’t attach any particular meaning to the numbers.  In fact, I start saying I’m a year older at the beginning of the year so I’ll be used to saying it by the time I hit my birthday.  Of course, that leads to some confusion in the three months leading up to my birthday when I have to stop and think how old I actually am.  So, I am thirty-eight right now, but I say I’m thirty-nine.  Hey, that’s 13 x 3.  That’s cool.

Anyhoo, I’ve never cared about getting older.  I will never lie about my age.  I’m actually amazed I have lived this long, so why short myself on that account?  However, in the past, I used to get extremely depressed about my birthday because it would remind me of all the shit I hadn’t done yet in my life.  No job, no hubby, no kids, no published fiction, no great contribution to society.  Never one to be shy about self-flagellation, I would berate myself mercilessly on the day of my birth.  My parents would call and ask if my brother had taken me out to dinner for my birthday.  They would wish me a happy birthday, and I would tell them to stuff it, but in marginally-politer terms.  My mom would reminisce about my birth, and I would curtly tell her that she should be the one congratulated for doing all the work–not me.   Yes, I was a total bitch about it.  I fully admit it.  I hated my birthday with every fiber of my being.

In addition to reminding me of all the ways I had failed up to that point, my birthday served to remind me that I was alive.  For so many years, this was a negative for me.  I did not want to be alive, and there was my fucking birthday taunting me with the fact that yes, I was, indeed, still technically among the living.

I never told anyone when my birthday was, and I never celebrated it.  It was dead to me.  It used to exasperate people to the point that they would make a game out of trying to find out my birthday.

In the past few years, I’ve become less hostile to my birthday.  I don’t hate it any longer, and I will tell people if they ask when it is.  I still don’t celebrate (I should amend that.  My best friend, whose birthday is also in April, and I celebrate together.  We have for many years), but I don’t actively loathe it, either.  I do still use it as a touching point for all the shit I haven’t done, but it’s not nearly as painful as it used to be (probably because I am not as depressed these days, though, that’s not always true).

However, I still would rather not make a big deal about my birthday.  I don’t get it, really.  I did nothing by being born.  There’s no great accomplishment in that.  I know, it’s more about a celebration of me being alive, I guess, but we already know how I feel about that.  Most of the time, I don’t actively want to be dead or cease to exist, but I am not extremely thrilled about being alive, either.  I would say I’m pretty much neutral about it.  I accept that I am alive (unless I’m a figment of someone else’s imagination) and that I probably shouldn’t do anything to change that status, but eh, whatever.

In addition, I always thought I should have been born in December, January, or February.  I am a winter person (understatement of the year) so the fact that I was born in April just seems plain wrong.

So, April is also ScriptFrenzy month.  I’ve done it the last two years, and it’s been a blast.  I am more ambivalent about this year for some reason.  I have an idea and a working title, but I find myself strangely flat about the idea of participating.  I don’t know what is up with that.  I will probably do it, though.  Anything that forces me to write is a good thing.  If I do participate, my blogging will go down drastically.  That’s just how I roll.  I wrote a screenplay entitled The Year of Seven Penises (or, to amuse myself, Seven Penii), but I only made it to two-and-a-half penises.  It’s going to be a trilogy, and I suppose I could write the second part this year.

The coolest thing about April is that I will be flying to North Carolina to finally meet Kel, her hubby (though he will be gone geocaching for most of the weekend), and their three awesome kids, Kali, Oz, and Buddha, as well as Kel’s cool sister.  The girls, Kel, her sister, and I will be driving three hours to Oriental, NC (and yes, it cracks me up every time I type that) to see Vienna Teng–a Taiwanese American, smokin’ hot singer–perform.   It’s gonna be a blast, and I am so stoked, but it also means I have to clean the goddamn house so Natasha doesn’t get killed by the giant dust bunnies as she takes care of my boys.  Have I mentioned how much I hate cleaning?  Well, I do.  With a passion.

April is also the month in which I need to really start getting my shit together.  I had my session today, and I was talking about needing a schedule so I can be productive.  I voiced my frustration with being so resistant to making a schedule and following it, and we figured out it’s because if I write out a schedule, I have to start getting specific as to what being productive means.  As I joked, I can’t just write as my schedule, “Be productive from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.”  Well, I could, but it wouldn’t really accomplish much.

In addition, getting specific about being productive means I have to question why I have added certain things to the list.  Take for instance, finding a job.  I realized awhile ago that for me, a job is a means to an end.  The end is being a writer/performer.  The means is being self-sufficient to the point where I can reach my end.  Or, as my therapist joked, “You need a job that will allow you to support your habits.”  Ha!

As long as I wrap myself in the abstracts of ‘being productive’, I don’t actually have to do anything about it.  As long as I’m obsessed with losing weight (and all the ED shit that goes with it), I don’t have to focus on what I really need to do.  If I don’t get a move on with all these things before my mom comes back (end of May), then it’ll be that much easier to fall back into the same old fucking patterns that have held us enmeshed in a dysfunctional relationship for all my life.

I realized in my session today that I have no clue what a healthy relationship with my mother would look like.  It’s trite, but true for me to say that the way I grew up was normal to me.  It’s only been in the last six months or so (since, yes, the flashbacks started) that I’ve realized how fucked up we were.  What my therapist and I concluded is that for now, I need to just focus on unraveling the unhealthy ties that bind and not worry about what a close or healthy relationship would look like.  I was saying that I don’t know if I even want to have a close relationship with my mother, and that’s when my therapist suggested I focus on changing the current relationship rather than on what I hope will be the outcome.  Sound advice.  We shall see if I can follow it.

17 Responses to The Ides of April

  1. Ohhhhh, Sweetie, if you aren’t into your birthday, you should’ve warned my not to tell the Kellions. They already have their gifts in progress, and are fighting over who gets to decorate your birthday cake when I finally get out of you exactly what your favorite is so I can make it. =) It’ll be a week plus a smidge after your real birthday, but my family is grateful to have you in their lives, so we are celebrating your birthday as the day the cosmos decided to plop your butt back onto the earth.

    We love you and are glad you’re here. But you’re still not getting lasagna. I’m not making you sick!

  2. I did nothing by being born. There’s no great accomplishment in that.

    OK Minna, your self-loathing is showing.

    You did nothing by being born?
    It was no accomplishment?
    How long did your mother labor?

    Certainly that has been tossed at you before?

    I ask because that is how many hours you were in duress before becoming the equivalent of a football being pushed out a mouse hole. After the trauma of that, you then had to do the one thing that is a fucking fantastic accomplishment. You (through body fuids, amniotic muck and, meconium) drew a breath.

    That’s it baby, in a nutshell.
    I for one am glad you took the breath and hope the Kellions spoil the crap out of you on your trip. Learn to recognize the coolness people see in you for what it is. Amazing aspects of you!

  3. Oh, trust me, Whabs…the Kellions will definitely spoil her! (As will I.) They adore her, and cannot wait to bask in her wisdom and humor and Minnaness.

    I just hope she doesn’t run screaming from our house after they get a hold of her for a few days!!

  4. Kel, oh I guess for the Kellions’ sakes I will have to woman up and not snivel about it. I will have to eat the cake (twist my arm!) and enjoy the presents. Sigh. Hah! I’m touched that they want to help me celebrate it. That’s pretty sweet.

    whabs, yeah, I know. It’s also the family ethos of having to accomplish something in order to take any pride in the matter. Or rather, putting in conscious effort. I am trying to listen to all the people who tell me I’m fucking cool rather than the demons who tell me the diametric opposite, but it’s not easy. I’m glad you are in my life, though. Very much so.

    Kel, now I’m nervous! That’s a lot of pressure on me to be witty, wise, and wonderful! I can’t wait to meet you all.

    Choolie, right back at you.

  5. Sweetie, you don’t have to feel pressured. Just you as you, on your FB wall, here, whatever, has them knowing that you’re amazing. You don’t need to be anything other than you.

    But you do need to browse desserts and choose your birthday cake (or whatever). =)

  6. Kel, I’m just worried because I’m not as interesting in person as I am online.

    Alex, then they need to change the name, don’t they?

    snee, first of all, PANTIES! Secondly, you usually don’t have much problem in that department!

  7. Kel, seriously. I am pretty boring on a day-to-day basis. I just want you and the Kellions to be prepared.

    The Sailing Capital of NC? Stay for a lifetime? I can’t wait!

  8. Kel, are there any Asians in Oriental? (And if you’re going to give your town a name that will encourage prosperity and good luck, wouldn’t it be better *not* to name it after a sunken ship from a disastrous civil war? Just sayin’.)

  9. Alex, there will be one Asian in Oriental in roughly two weeks! They better take a picture! I didn’t know that about the Oriental (ship). Neato.

  10. Alex — Wish I knew! I’ve never been there. And honestly, I can NOT fathom why Vienna Teng is playing there. I saw her last April in downtown Raleigh at the Lincoln Theatre, but this is a tiny little podunk town very off the beaten path.

    It does look like a pretty little town, though. Should make for some great photos if the weather cooperates.

  11. Kel, maybe for the same reason I find it so amusing?

    P.S. Remember, if it’s below twenty degrees, I will run outside nekkid.

  12. Multiply that by four and you have a deal. Twenty isn’t even a remote possibility in NC in April. 80? That’s possible.

  13. Kel, that’s why I said twenty! I have no desire to be arrested in Oriental, NC. Though, the story I would have afterwards would be silver.