Happy Birthday to me! So… this is 50!
I don’t know, it feels weird. Mostly because it feels so unremarkable, y’know? We are in a pandemic, and any “plans” I might have had will have to remain on hold until there’s a better time for them. And I know it’s the effect of the pandemic that’s had every day feeling like the day before, and the day after.
At the same, it’s a huge deal, isn’t it? 50 years on this planet. 50 revolutions around the sun. Making it to age 50 being Black, Queer, having survived cancer, it’s a triumph, a victory. Honestly, not something I can say that I expected to happen at various points in my life.
“If I live to be 30!” was a common refrain among gay men in the 80s for a reason. As much as it reflected our culture’s obsession with youth, it also acknowledged HIV/AIDS drastically reducing our life expectancy. And while many of us did survive and make it, the loss of a generation left us without any real concept of planning for Queer elders. Let alone planning to be one of them.
Because I am who I am, I’ve done the “treat myself” things. I’ve taken off work. I’m only streaming if I feel like it. I’ve only said yes to things that friends are doing during this time. The freedom to say “No,” to things is actually rather nice and I don’t think I’m going to give it up after the birthday month is over.
There is Prosecco and cheesecake in my fridge, comfort food and snacks to hand. I have plenty of games to play and shows to watch. I might head out for a drink or a brunch, but again–pandemic–so it also might stay pretty controlled and at home. I don’t know.
All told though, for 50, I’m not doing so badly! I get to stream and play video games each week, occasionally I do a “cooking show,” and I play Dungeons & Dragons professionally. I’ve helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for amazing charities. My professional (day job) career is in a really good place without stress or pressure. I still do my best to treat people the way I and they would like to be treated. I acknowledge that crappy things happen–a lot–but I also refuse to let those things steal my joy. I have wonderful friends, many of whom I get to do really cool stuff with. And for the most part, I’m still in good health (even if my knees might not agree with that statement).
I guess what I’m saying is… here’s to the next 50 years. I don’t know what my birthday tomorrow will bring, let alone what’s to come in “the future,” but if the past nearly three years has taught me anything, it’s that you take each day as it comes, you do your best to make it through from waking up to going back to sleep and you find what comfort, satisfaction, and joy that you can.
Yeah, I know… it sounds cheesy. But it works! 💖