Given that September is almost over and my birthday is at the end of October, I’ve already started to get questions from family members about what I want for my birthday.
I hate this question. Not that I don’t like birthdays and receiving gifts. I love books and would love enough blank journals (spiral-bound, please) to fill a warehouse. But as I’ve gotten older, it’s become harder and harder to think of things I want for my birthday. I usually just end up scouring the Internet for things I don’t really need, but just pick out so people will have a chance to buy me something if they feel so obligated.
I’ll be 31 next month. Not a special year in the least. But what do you do when you get to the point that the things you desire in life aren’t material? So, if you want to know, here’s what I really want for my birthday.
A cure for celiac disease. Gluten free food has come a long way, even in the four years since my diagnosis. But living in a society where the diet is primarily wheat-based and so many of our celebrations and social events are centered around the consumption of food makes it challenging to be a celiac. Being able to eat even just a little gluten again would be a nice thing.
A baby. I’m about to pass yet another birthday childless. I thought last year would be the last time. I need to stop saying that, because it makes the letdown even worse year after year. I’m sick of sitting on the sidelines for this one; I’m ready to play the game, starting with a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby. And no fertility drugs. They messed me up enough last year.
A cure for endometriosis. There are 176 million other women around the world who want this too. Even though my endo is currently “in remission,” that could change at any time. And my battle with endometriosis has been painful and challenging. I’ve already had three surgeries for endo in two years and I really don’t want any more.
To be happy. I’m in an ok place from a mental health perspective at the moment. But this is something that changes very quickly without warning depending on my life circumstances. I’m not unhappy with life, but I’m definitely not happy. Maybe the recent increase in my Zoloft dose will help me find more happy places in my mind.
To feel well. Obviously, I’m still in the post-op recovery phase of my brain surgery. And there’s a reason it’s a six-week recovery before I’m allowed to return to work. The recovery is challenging. But since I just seem to go from one health problem directly into another, it’s been a very long time since I have felt truly well. I don’t even remember what it feels like to not be in pain of some kind. Or to have energy. It would be an amazing thing to feel well again. What does it feel like to go through a day without feeling the need to “take it easy” so I don’t make myself feel worse? I really don’t know.
A short list, to be sure, but there really isn’t a whole lot I want. It’s just that the things I want aren’t easily attainable, if at all. They may forever remain…just wishes.