I used to love celebrating my birthday. As a kid, I celebrated with both my grandfather whose birthday was the day after mine, and my best friend, who shares the same birthday. So in my 20s, birthdays became my time to shine, and I’d often have a whole weekend celebration, meticulously planned out.
So imagine my surprise when after I had my son, my reticence to celebrate my birthday grew. After spending energy to make sure his day was special, I just didn’t have the same energy or fortitude to justify going “all out” for mine. A simple dinner with my then-husband, and a few friends, was all I really wanted or needed. And then I got divorced. And then Covid. 2020’s birthday (like most everyone’s) looked a lot different — zoom and a desire to be anywhere except the house. Last year, I decided to have a party at an outdoor restaurant. The event itself was wonderful, but I was anxious about it all week and the week after — overwhelmed by who would go, who wouldn’t, if anyone would get covid, etc. Plus, the realization that after two years of isolation, big crowds (even surrounded by people I know and love) are overwhelming.
This year I didn’t want to do anything at all. The idea of celebrating after an exhausting couple of months filled with big transitions seemed daunting. But, this was a year worth celebrating,
It’s been my birthday tradition to list all of my last year’s accomplishments, and looking back— it was a huge year.
This year I: wrote and helped produce my first solo episode of television, finished my first staff writing gig, was in the ER with a kidney infection, had three television series I worked on/wrote premiere within the same week, take my son to Disneyland for the first time post-pandemic, witness a good friend get married in a beautiful ceremony in the mountains, get my son into preschool, help him transition to preschool, have my ex move across country leaving me solo-parenting for real, have a scary ER visit with my son, breakup with my boyfriend, chop off six inches of hair, went on a girls’ trip, witnessed a good friend’s breakdown, discovered I had a lump in my breast, got my booster shot, threw an episode party and watched my episode of television surrounded by family, friends, and co-workers, hosted Thanksgiving dinner, got back into photography, went back to therapy, went to Hawaii with my parents and son, got back together with my boyfriend, got a mammogram that determined I would have to “wait and see” about my lump (sending my anxiety into a spiral), wrote a pilot based on an idea I’d been working on for two years, negotiated a deal for the pilot, celebrated my son’s 4th birthday, celebrated Galentine’s, get into a co-parenting groove, celebrated another friend’s wedding, sent the pilot to the woman the pilot was based on and heard her praise and support, only to have her pull out of the project leaving it dead (and me unpaid and heartbroken), had my show get canceled (more lack of pay and heartbreak), celebrated Eassover, broke up with my boyfriend (again), celebrated/was a witness for another friend’s wedding, got into a giant fight with my ex-boyfriend at said wedding, had a massive stomach bug and questioned all my life choices, saw a situation with renewed clarity, got back together with my boyfriend, made the decision to leave a painful situation, wrote another pilot in a genre I’ve never written before, move to a new city, went back to script coordinating, got a new job in-person on a lot, adapted a feature, enrolled my son for elementary school, went to Palm Desert, got another mammogram to determine the lump is gone, got the house fumigated and temporarily move in with mom and dad, celebrated my son graduating preschool, got my son vaccinated, reconnected with old friends, made some new friends, survived.
Here’s to 37, and whatever it brings.