I'm twenty-five today.
Birthdays have never been much of a big deal for me. Not since I was a kid anyway. Dinner with family or a few close friends. No parties, no big fuss. I don't like gift-centered days in general. They make me uncomfortable. My brother and I were talking about materialism the other day and how little we both care about stuff. Maybe it comes from growing up at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Maybe it comes from the lack of emphasis on posessions in our parents' homes. I think that most of it comes from how people centric our family is. No one ever pushed us to reject things, but the people in our lives and the experiences that we shared were always so much more important.
I have to say, I think it's a pretty nice way to live. I get far more out of giving gifts than receiving them and when I do receive them I often get more enjoyment out of the sentiment behind the gift than the object itself.
I have been searching for some direction for the last few months. Since I finished my degree I've felt incredibly unproductive. I've also been searching for a career that I can build without being hindered by my illness. After all, even if the bone marrow transplant happens and is successful, I still may never be able to teach. The pulmonary hypertension might not be stopped by the BMT and there will always be a chance for my MCTD to reccur and knock me off my feet again. So with all of this in mind I've been examing my interests, talents, and jobs that I could do from home whether I am sick or not. After doing a lot of self-examination and consulting with my friends and family, I've decided to go back to school to get my A.S. in Digital Design. I've always been artistic. I was never dedicated enough to really develop that talent, but I did some pretty good work in high school and I really enjoyed it. Since high school I've done some work toying around with text and graphic layout and design for more crafty-type things and it's come together pretty well. More than that though, it will give me the ability to create something tangible, which I find extremely fulfilling, and it's something that I can either do for someone else from my home or even use to start a home based business.
So I'm planning to start taking classes at the local community college starting this summer.
But tonight when we got home from a long day of hauling stuff from the old apartment and doing some grocery shopping, my artistic aspirations were the last thing on my mind. BF unloaded the last of the packages from the car and then told me to close my eyes and put my hands out. When I opened them I found one of the most awesome gifts I've ever gotten. It's a professional drawing tablet for graphic design and software to give me everything I need. It's an incredible gift. Supremely expensive and very cool in and of itself, but that's not the part about it that really touched me. It was how much confidence he has in me, to spend so much time researching what would be the best iteration and talking to various people to find out whether it was the best tool to get me started. It was so thoughtful and so uplifting. Without saying a word he managed to show me how much he supports and believes in me.
With all of the awful stuff that has happened this year, it was exactly the gift that I needed. I may be facing the loss of a dear friend and an uphill battle for my own life. I may be broke and drowning in debt, but I am so blessed to have this man in my life and such a wonderful and supportive family surrounding me.. This is also something of an anniversary for us. Three years ago today he kissed me for the first time and we both fell hard. Looking back, my life without him was so empty and gray. Now I have love and hope for a long, happy future.
It's a pretty great birthday