They say wisdom comes with age. I do not know if that is true. I seem to keep getting older, but I am not so sure I am getting any wiser. I would love to be able to understand myself, the world, and the world’s reaction to me with much more wisdom than I have accumulated over the past 62 years. When I was a little girl asking questions about God, faith, and life, I remember being told (probably more often than was theologically necessary) that the answer to my question was that “it” was one of the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. Maybe all these things that I struggle to understand now are also some of those great mysteries. I do not know. Nothing has happened so far to stop me trying to figure them out, though.
My birthday was the latest in this long string of “bigger thinks than my mind can manage.” I had the most wonderful birthday ever. I did not have a lot of plans. Max and I were scheduled to go to Disney Springs for a meal at The Boathouse. We were just going to wander around, get some exercise, shop a bit, and try to score some Walt Disney World 50th anniversary merch. While this sounded like a very pleasant day, there was nothing super “birthday” about it. Our plans were similar to outings we do several times a year.
What really flipped the script, however, was the overwhelming tidal wave of affection I received from people all over the world. I am not sure what prompted such attention. Maybe it was because the last blog I published was about how I love my birthday as an opportunity to celebrate me. I had texts, phone calls, Facebook messages, cards, and presents all day long. It was not just that I received the “happy birthday” greetings. Most of the greetings were heartfelt, specific, loving, and hyperbolic in their effusiveness. I have been going through a rough patch recently, as I alluded to in my Birthdays post. I am being courageous as I navigate the crap in my cranium. I am making good progress in figuring it all out and banishing the demons… maybe for good this time. Still, it is exhausting, painful effort. The special, super-duper birthday love made such a difference. It infused me with purpose and belief in my own worth.
My peeps- including you all- are nothing short of miraculous.
I am so deeply grateful for this wonderful birthday gift, but I have to say that I am completely bewildered by it. I honestly do not understand what prompts all this emotion fixed on me. I absolutely appreciate it- maybe even need (don’t tell anybody I said that) it- but I do not understand what it is about me that motivates it. I know this positive outpouring is genuine. People wanted me to feel loved and special because they honestly believe that I am loved and special. The messages were too sincere and specific for me to think people were just being polite.
I truly believe I am nothing special, except in the way that everyone is unique and precious in God’s eyes. I feel like I have managed to fool a large number of people into believing I am something that I absolutely am not. I feel a little guilty and, also, scared. Someday, the people I have been fooling will figure out that I have duped them, no matter how inadvertently. They will remove their love, support, and respect. I will be alone with myself, exposed and ashamed. This world of love, kindness, and support that you wonderful people have created for me is an emotional Garden of Eden. Once you find out that I am not who you think I am, I will be expelled into the cruel, cold, fallen desert that is my psyche.
Yes, I am laying it on all a bit thick, but the idea is there. I wish that I had the wisdom to understand what about me is lovable. On the other hand, perhaps it is enough for now to simply believe that I am lovable. Is lovable, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? And, even if I one day find myself bereft of love and support from the world, I must remember that God’s love will always be there. Even when He removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, He kept them safe in His merciful Providence.
What about you do you think people like most? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a lovable day!