The Better. A Sunday Series – 4.16.23: Birthday Shit


“Birthday Shit” by Paula G. Akinwole

This weekend was my 35th birthday. It was on a Saturday and the sun was shining all day! If you’re like me, you know that those are conditions prime for an excellent birthday adventure. My husband and I had started planning months ago. Vegas, no Chicago, Houston, what about Baltimore! After weeks of back and forth and some factors making plans for us, we ended up in DC. That was totally fine with me though. So we booked the hotel, some excursions, and of course… I bought new clothes! 

The days before we were set to head that way, things started to get… funky. Now, this may be something you don’t know about me but I panic over forced spontaneity sometimes. I don’t like when my last minute plans change and I really hate when all factors are factoring the way I sliced it up. So as my sitters hesitated and my deposits fine printed me, I felt the panic set in. But, someone gave me a pep talk the Tuesday before my birthday weekend and I kept referring back to it for my calm. She said (not quote) that at this age life starts to shape around you a bit more. You find matter of factness in the things you want from life and can claim who you are more concretely. 

Well this is why that matters to this trip, cause things began to go wrong! The clothes and shoes I bought were too small so I had nothing special to wear. I woke up on my birthday sweating because the room conditions were too hot to getting unsettling news from my doctor (yes, on my birthday morning) then learning my excursion was on the wrong date, to ending the night with diarrhea (TMI, IK) it seems like every plan I wanted to make just kept rejecting itself, rejecting me. Even down to me and my husband stepping off an elevator to see a man had been shot in the parking deck, I said “And I oop… gotta go!” 

My husband was doing his best to try to make this the best day ever. Maybe he felt pressure to top last years awesome surprise b-day party. Or maybe he knows that 34 year old Paula would have whined about how awful the day was. It was pretty hard to convince him, “I was fine!” But I truly was. He had a fancy dinner in a twirling sky dome and got to see all the sights. I was at peace even while making 4 stops to the MGM bathroom cause I could’t stop pooping (just get used to the TIM okay?) 

The next day was sunshine and roses, right? Nope. Things continued to not go our way a bit and I ended up cutting the trip early cause I wanted to go back home. But while my husband fumed a little at my less than perfect birthday, I continued to be at peace. I felt happy. None of my situations were permanent and uncontrollable. Nothing was broken that couldn’t be healed. 

For the first time ever, I truly feel like this is about to be my best year yet. Why? I have no idea but I’m choosing to be at peace, move with confidence, and take it one day at a time. 

It’s up to you how you react to everything happening around you, how you let it affect you, and what signs you try to take from the universe, There was a moment where i thought “maybe the universe is trying to tell me that I should have stayed home,” but then I thought, shit literally happens. Happy birthday to me. 

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