Entirely unplanned but the last letter in this year long project is ‘b’, on the night of my birthday, appropriately marking the end of my 26th year. I don’t really do regular retrospectives, though I have often wondered whether I should start. This blog has served a bit of that purpose.
A year ago my birthday was not a particularly happy occasion. It was the night I cried, alone and so terribly sad. Sad from heartbreak. Sad from the grief that sometimes never seems to leave. Because while so many people had reached out to me in love and well wishes, I had secretly been waiting for one message that never came.
Heartbreak is a bitch like that.
It can take all the good around you and flatten it into shadow, hidden by the stark contrast of that one missing thing. How terrible it is to live in the negative spaces.
This year my birthday has been soft. Unplanned and a bit unexpected with not one but two delicious cakes. There was nothing in particular I wished for and nothing in particular missing. It has been textured without being jagged, with moments of beauty, joy, embarrassment, loneliness, gratitude, and wonder. I feel like I am living in the humblest sense of the word.
It’s been almost exactly a year since I started this project and honestly, it has not turned out the way I’d expected it to. I thought I’d do more long-form pieces. Or ramble-y posts around some theme or word that I’d picked out beforehand. In reality, many of these poems came to me either in fragments or in a rush of emotion some solitary night, with the title often arranged only after the piece was done. I tweaked my made-up rules and randomly forced myself to follow others. There was very little rhyme or reason to most of it and this project leaves behind many, many poems that didn’t fit a letter quite so neatly.
Which means I should think of another project theme to publish them under.
But until then, here I am, one year older and still not wiser. Thanks to everyone who reached out to say happy birthday, who coordinated secret cake surprises and spent time with me, whether in person or online. To anyone patient enough to have read all 26 of these randomly arranged letters.
You have all my love.