Birthday Blues 🍰

Nnebuugo Paul.
3 min readFeb 19, 2024

My head’s under water ̶b̶u̶t̶ and, I’m not breathing fine.

Write. Stop. Write. Stop.

This is my least favorite way to write because the “stopping” can be anything from tears to laughter, but usually the former. I’ll add a new year in a few days, and I can’t sleep for some reason. I am so nervous. In fact, I feel sick to my stomach. I want to turn off my phone and hide in a cupboard. I want to cover my face from sunlight and just fold myself. It’s weird.

I am thankful for life. I’m loved. I’m happy. Still, I can’t believe that my birthday is close. I still remember my 18th birthday. I remember how I felt. I remember the surprise party my friends threw and who said what. I remember it like it was yesterday. How am I now almost 30? (well, I still have a few years before 30, still, it’s weird).

The past year has been a blur. I have gone from one waiting period to the other. Like I am in a strength-testing game. I have waited so long that I can’t almost feel the joy of answered prayers. When they finally show up, they meet me fatigued. My eyes are sunken, and my eye bags are bigger. They meet me confused. Waiting is not only hard, it’s weird.

Does it ever get easier? I used to look forward to growing up, but this was not how I pictured it. Why do I have to make so many decisions? Why do I have to lose so many friends? Why do I have to receive so many rejections? It’s weird.

I thought that by now, beyond achieving certain things (which I have not achieved, by the way), I would have had several things figured out, like how to wait gracefully, how to handle rejections- to cry, laugh, shout, or just ignore, how to calm the unnerving of myself when I find myself in a crowd or when things are not going the way I expect or even how to defeat birthday blues. I am still figuring out these things (and many more things). It’s not what I expected. It’s weird.

Instead, I have guessed the answer to the most random things like why mad/sad people laugh (because sometimes laughter is the response to pain), why the mockingbird sings (because it’s mocking me), why I feel lonely even when surrounded by people (because loneliness is cured by being at home and so when you are not with people that feel like home, loneliness can tell and it stays), why good people die early (this world sucks, they are going to a better place). I have a couple more random questions with guessed answers, and none of them really make sense, I know, but I have made my peace with them, and in a way, that’s weird.

Writing helps me. I do this for me. Because sometimes my head is such a mess, like a spider’s nest. I need to let it all out and not bother if I am being understood, and writing helps. Two things happen when I write. I feel lighter, and I know the next right thing to do. Yes, the next right thing. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from Frozen. Yeah, one of the soundtracks, “The Next Right Thing,” says:

But a tiny voice whispers in my mind,
“You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on
And do the next right thing".

The next right thing coming to my mind is to sleep because I have a long day tomorrow, and I’m tired in a way I can’t explain. When tomorrow comes, we’ll then figure out another right thing to do.

One step at a time is my strategy at this time. This year, I don’t really have anything on my wishlist. I just want a year of ease. I want a break. No long waiting periods, no more heartbreaks, just laughter, melodies, and memories. I know, it’s weird.

But sometimes, weird is okay, too.

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Nnebuugo Paul.

Words are beautiful, stories are beautiful pieces of memories.