Happy Birthday

I licked the marshmallow fluff off my fingers. “You know this is rather unconventional.” I said, grabbing the mixing bowl from the counter. “I know, but I’d so much rather have fudge for my birthday than cake. Besides, it’ll just be us so I don’t see any problems with it.”

I rolled my eyes, “I told you we could invite people over. You insisted we just stay in and watch movies on Netflix. That was not my idea and you don’t get to pin it on me.”

She laughed, “I know that, silly. I hate cake anyway, so I’m not sure what we’re even arguing about.”

I shrugged, “I’m just making sure we all remember whose idea this was.”

“Well, next year I’ll let you throw me a huge dinner party. But this year isn’t special enough for that kind of thing.”

“What? This is so a very special year. You’ve been able to drink legally for a whole year.”

She stuck her tongue out, “Yes and it’s been horribly exciting, but hardly worth celebrating.”

I decided it was best not to argue anymore and focused on making the fudge she had requested. She was horribly infuriating, she would never let me be romantic or do anything charming for her. She was always so against me doing anything really nice for her. Some days I didn’t mind that she wasn’t a romantic, but other days I just wanted to be her prince charming.

That’s when I heard the knock at the door. Max, I told you to come tomorrow. Not today you idiot! “I’ll get it, you focus on making your fudge perfect.” She shrugged and continued working while I answered the door. “Hello birthday girl! I brought you a ton of squash.” Karen looked up in surprise, “Hey Max. I have to admit I’m a little surprised to see you here.”

“How could I miss my favorite girl’s birthday? I know, I know. You told Robbie over here not to have anyone over but I just couldn’t resist bringing you one of your favorite dishes.”

“Max, you really shouldn’t have. But I really do appreciate it.” Karen moved in for a hug and laughed, “I hope you don’t mind fudge, because we didn’t make any cake.”

Max just laughed and walked over to where our little food project was almost finished. I was furious. I cannot believe he had the audacity to come over here when I told him not to. It’s not like I wasn’t very clear with my instructions! I wasn’t mad with Max so much as I was mad that my plans were ruined. He would undoubtedly discover the pie in the back of the fridge I was saving for tomorrow’s surprise party. And he would undoubtedly eat it. Then I would be without pie and in a real bind. Not to mention I was horrified by the thought he might blurt out what we were doing tomorrow. He wasn’t very good at subtleties.

When I finally regained my composure I realized that I might not have anything to worry about. “Y’know, I always wanted to be a vet when I grew up. Now look at me, I’m twenty-two and I’m what my parents refer to as a starving artist.” Karen laughed, “Though I can’t imagine I’ll starve with all this food in the apartment.” As long as she’s the one leading the conversation maybe it will be fine. 

After an overly long evening listening to Max and Karen banter about any number of topics I mentioned that it was perhaps time for Max to go home. “Well, I can’t go home before midnight! It’s rude to duck out on a person’s birthday. I won’t have it.”

“Max, don’t be silly. You’ll be too tired to drive home at midnight.” Karen said, still laughing.

“I am not and will not. I’m sticking with you two for a while yet.” Max said, stomping his foot down with finality.

I rolled my eyes but let it drop, after all it was Karen’s birthday and I decided if she was having fun my plans didn’t need to be focused upon.

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Who Am I?

Every day we wake up and we make a choice: to be ourselves or to be who the world wants us to be. Some days it’s easier to be ourselves, these are the days when you wake up with nowhere to go so you don’t fix your hair, you leave your make-up untouched, and you sit around in yoga pants. Other days it’s harder to be yourself. There is a pressure to look less like a human and more like a painting. This doesn’t just apply to our outward appearance, but who we are on the inside.

It’s much less work to change your personality to fit the people you’re around. Your friends think you’re one person, your parents think you’re another person, and your professor thinks you’re that guy. With all this personality switching it’s no wonder that so many people experience an identity crisis. I mean, who are you really

I have become all too familiar with the pressures to be someone I’m not. I’ve been told who I should be by any number of people. If I were just skinnier, if I would just wear make-up, if I would just quit being a stick in the mud, if I would just stop being so me, then people would like me. I don’t know where I got my backbone from, but I do know that I will never be the girl everyone else wants me to be. 

There’s not enough room in my head for all those girls, there’s barely room for me. That bothers some people. I’m inclined to believe that’s why they always try to get me to change. Not because I need to change, but because everyone else feels that if they need to change I need to change to. 

World, I’ve got a secret for you so hang on to your seats because it’s a doozy. You don’t need to change for anyone else. That’s right, no one should ever ask you to change who you are. It’s cliche, but the people that truly care for you and want you to be happy will never ask you to change who you are. They may ask you to stop doing things that make you unhappy but they will never expect you to change who you are. 

Readers, I have a challenge for you: The next time someone tells you to change something about yourself ask yourself if it will make you happy to change. If the answer is no then don’t do it because life is too short to spend all your time trying to make other people happy. Now go be bold!

Affectionately Yours

Sorry I haven’t written here in such a long while (for those of you trying to keep up with me!). As life usually does it ran away with me, gripping my hand tightly and my feet flew from beneath me. Unfortunately life usually gets to dictate how I spend my evenings but I have stolen this evening to bring a little bit of wonder to you.

I have always found affection to be tricky. Not that I have a hard time giving away my affection. On the contrary I immediately love someone and slowly grow to loathe their existence. The tricky part has always been earning someone else’s affections. Not necessarily the romantic kind, as that is far too complex for me to ever fathom, rather the kind of affection one feels toward a close friend, the family pet, or a sibling.

You see, the issue stems from the way my parents garnered my affection. My mother would buy me things. Oh, you’re so mad at me aren’t you? But how can you be mad at me when I just got you this new toy!! My father tried to win my affections by letting me have a puppy, or taking me fishing. C’mon, we’ll go do what like to do. You can see why I never developed a good way to make friends with people.

As this is the case I’ve had very few close friends in my life. After a fiasco with some friends in the sixth grade I had nearly decided that friends weren’t something I needed. Friends are just too much work, they take time and patience I didn’t feel like I had to give anymore. Then I started talking to this girl in my seventh grade class. I can’t even tell you what we started talking about but we haven’t stopped talking since. She’s the friend I never knew I needed. As with most things, our friendship just happened.

Since then I have made a few friends, and when I say friend I do not take the word lightly. The people that are my confidants, my companions, and my fellow warriors, they are my friends. And slowly but surely I have come to understand how to be a true friend to those people. Though, I must admit I have been known to buy some incredible Christmas presents. (Just in case my way of doing things doesn’t pan out!)