It was my birthday last Friday.
It was a difficult week. Between the people being laid off, the high of me getting my ticket, the low of me finding out the next day that I could be unemployed for an amount of time before I leave, and just ultimately dealing with life, I was quite worried my birthday would suck balls.
I was worried more than usual because I love Friday the 13th. And I mean love Friday the 13th. I consider them my lucky days. I was legit born on a Friday the 13th. Full moon and all.
The day came, and the love came rushing in from friends everywhere. Later that afternoon, I went up north to be with my parents. Friends joined in. We played games, laughed, and lazed about. Exactly what I needed after such a hellish week.
My father has a tradition of making birthday cakes for us kids. Once I got into my teens, I “forced” my father to keep going. It started with Disney characters (Genie, Ariel, Belle, etc.) and continued on to many other things: a Hylian shield, Link, a dragon, the TARDIS (which was hollow with a mirror so you could look through the door and see how it was larger on the inside), Appa…
This year, it was a childhood favorite book of mine: Yertle the Turtle.
Two of my friends had never read the story before, so I read it to them. And then discovered how weirdly appropriate the book still stands for me today. While I knew the book well (my father still remembers the first three to four pages because I forced him to read it so often as a child), I hadn’t actually read the book for years. And it…well, it really made me feel oddly in touch with my younger self. I always thought I grew into myself, that I learned how to be me in a more recent setting. It could be argued that because I read the same book over and over again, that idea is what stuck with me subconsciously to where I am at today. It just feels more as if I asked for the same books over and over again because I already had this idea of what I wanted in life. My father read it like the many other books, and I said, “That. That is what I want more of.”
It makes me smile.
Full disclosure, I also made my dad read me The Contests at Cowlick (which, I can’t believe this, but I’ve found a video of someone reading it–my dad and I did the men’s laughter so much better) and There’s a Monster at the End of This Book on repeat as well.
You now can guess at my life story.
On the way home after a weekend of digital Cards Against Humanity, Dixit, and Things, I saw a car fly into a median-ditch, smoke billowing out of the front. I stopped my car, got out to see someone lift their head from the deploy airbag and walk out of their car all confused. As I called 911 to let them know where we were at, the guy tried to convince me to not involve cops, the car started on fire, and we had to move across a road section to get away from the fire that was spreading along the grass. I spent about an hour comforting the 21-year-old male who was concerned about going to jail for going over the recommended 45-50mph while using a donut tire. The cops urged me to leave after giving my say on what happened. His name was Brandon. I have no idea if they did end up arresting him for not having a license, the title of the vehicle, and no proof of insurance.
Two days after that, while preparing for bed, I heard some odd noises of someone walking upstairs and weird consistent noises only people can make with their mouths as if water is dripping.
I quickly finish in the bathroom, go to my room, lock my door. No one is supposed to be home. I text the owner of the house to see if she had come home. I text my gusband (who is her son) to see if he had come over. I can still hear the odd dripping noise.
Eventually, I come to the conclusion I’m just thinking as if I’m in a Luther episode and it will be fine in the morning. My gusband calls the police instead and texts me to let him know I’m okay after they arrive. The entire house is dark, they shake all the doors to check the locks while walking around the house, and then I have run down a dark hallway, up dark stairs, and get to the door to let them in more freaked out than ever.
They find nothing in their search around and in the house. Duh.
I’ve bought sage and smudged the house because I now firmly believe the house is haunted.
It’s been a fun couple of weeks.
So, today, I got in my comfortable walking clothes, grabbed Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, and took a reading walkabout.
For those who aren’t aware, a reading walkabout is when you hop on a trail and…just…read until you find your way back home.
Right now, my mother is cringing and yelling to my father, “Come look at what your daughter is doing that we definitely did not teach or encourage her to do!”
But it is seriously one of the best things. For instance, today, I walked an hour and a half, got through a good chunk of a wonderful book that is slowly unfreezing my heart from what corporate has done to me, and had some time to get rid of the toxic portions of my life for a while. Running is great, but there is just something about walking around while reading that feels comfortable.
I don’t know, maybe it’s because you can feel like motherfucking Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
I highly recommend doing a reading walkabout. I’ve swallowed books whole on my excursions. I’m outside, reading, and since the trails around me are pretty stellar, I get to pause and look at nature for a while. Added bonus for me right now is breaking in my hiking shoes while I’m at it.
I guess what turning 28 is. How turning any age really is. Shit days, good days, fucked up days, best days, coping days.
Gah, that’s a little morbid.
What I guess I mean to say is that every year I get a older, and the chaos reigns over, the more stubborn I get about deciding to live my life the way I want to live it. Because life has shit days, good days, fucked up days, best days, coping days.
It’s learning to deal with these days.
It’s leveling up to get the next weapon to take on these days.
It’s people getting fired, getting a ticket to Scotland, having relaxing weekends, the best birthday cakes in all the land, seeing someone’s car burn to the ground, and living in a haunted house.