Sitting here, on the eve of my birth, pondering life, wondering if I dare take out my soul and examine it. I have avoided writing of late, thinking that to voice my feelings will just give them more power over me. This is not my S.O.P. Normally, when demons whisper in my ear I find it most helpful to drag them kicking and screaming into the light, dissect them, flay them wide open for all the world to see, learn their names so that I might have power over them, and vanquish them back to the murk they crawled out of. But this year feels different. This is the year that I seem to have gone cold inside. I am learning that it is not that I have gone cold, but that I may have finally reached that point when I have withstood all I can, until I just can't take another hit. Knowing that the next blow to fall could very well be the fatal one. Or not. Knowing this, I have wrapped my heart in bands of steel, clad my soul in cold iron. It is all I can do. Protect myself. Protect what is left, and hope that in time wounds will heal and I will become whole again. Or at least a close proximation of whole. Just the act of voicing these thoughts inside my own head makes the world seem in shadows, and lends a chill to the air. Hugo senses it, and tries to crawl into my lap, all 90 pounds of empathetic lunkhead with a heart of gold, as he tries to comfort me. He knows, even if he does not understand. Hell, I don't even truly understand.
Here it is, the eve of my birth, and Valentine's Day, both equally bitter reminders that I live alone, and my source of comfort on cold, grey days, are a pair of ill-mannered dogs, and a trio of diffident cats. This is not where I thought I would be on my birthday this year. I don't know what I was expecting for a birthday, I have spent the bulk of my birthdays alone, and basically uncelebrated this last decade, so why should this be any different? Although it has nothing to do with my birthday, tomorrow is the annual banquet and awards ceremony for my fire district. So I will dress up and go hang out with the one group that I know would at the very least, attend my funeral and give me a good send off. But it is also called "The Sweethearts Banquet," since it is a way for the firefighters to honor their significant others. I will be one of the very few there that does not have a significant other, so it will be another reminder of my status. I really hate this time of year, there are reminders of loneliness at every turn, reminders that I really am one of the few single people that I know.
I tell myself it does not matter, that I am happy being single and independent. And it is true, the majority of the time. Or at least that is what I tell myself. I talk a good talk, too. I do love my independence. I love my strength, my self sufficiency. I love the way I have arranged my life, and the goals that I am striving for. I tell myself that the reality is that I do not have time or energy for entanglements. But I would make time, if it mattered.
See, I started writing a few lines about my impending birthday, and it quickly digressed into another woe-is-me pity party, guest list of one. This is why I have been silent on these pages. I know myself well enough to know I should just keep my mouth shut, my head down, and wait for this to all blow over. But that is my fear, that it won't blow over. Here I am, in an endless loop. Time to call it a night. Tomorrow, for my birthday, I will write again. I will write of goals reached this past year, promises to self, and plans for the coming year. I refuse to dwell too long here in the state of self pity, there is too much to do to waste this kind of energy.