Today is the day I fear most all year as it is my birthday. I worry and fret about this day all year long and here it is. And why is it bad you ask? I explained it a post I had last week, but there's more to it than that.
I believe a birthday is a day of self-reflection and I'm sure I'm not the first person to ask questions such as, "Why am I here?" "What's my purpose?" and, "Where am I going?" All those are valid questions and as I hit the age of 31 I feel I am now, officially, in a state of being between eras. Turning 30 was difficult for me but this feels worse for some reason and I've been thinking the past few days as to why this is and I keep coming back to one thing.
My 30th year on Earth was one that had some supreme highs (personally and professionally) and some strong losses, but never had I traveled so much, spoke so much, and flagged so much. All in all great, right? Here's the problem that I once again realized while at a business meeting last Thursday; it isn't what I've done that counts but only what is in the now. I can't rest on what I've done, I can't take pride in what I've accomplished in my first 30 years. Every day the slate is cleaned for me and because of this I fight a battle that comes to a head on my birthday.
Perhaps one of the reasons as to why some of us on the autism spectrum have this perfectionistic drive is this very reason. The past four months have been highly difficult for me as I had a bubble of sorts burst. It had been a long time since I had been exposed to any sort of lapse in the system, or rather "horror story" if you prefer in terms of families having major issues then all of a sudden I had an influx of such and each time I feel as if what I'm doing isn't enough. Right now I have the drive that I wish I could go on a 100 day speaking tour spreading awareness and understanding to a countless number in the high thousands. Of course, I essentially have done this but on this day it doesn't matter.
What does matter? For me, the only thing that matters is what is now and right now I feel as if I am doing nothing. It's a horrid feeling and one that others on the spectrum have told me they share. Again, that's why we may come up with tremendous ideas because we aren't looking at what we've done but instead we're looking at what we can do, or how can we make it better.
I have no idea what my 31st year holds. None, and I think any person on their birthday that says so isn't telling the truth because life can't be scripted. There's no way I'd have come close to any prediction from any of my years going back a decade and even with this record of having things turn out much better than I expected I still feel sad on this day.
Have I done enough? Why am I here? Will everything be okay? Of all days I feel the smallest on my birthday and on other days I feel as if I can change the world, but for this one day I just see the world as an unchanging and cold place and I am powerless to do anything. It's amazing that one day can have such a staggering amount of power, but that's what this day is. Come tomorrow this will probably pass, but for today I'll be lost in thought wondering what's next and whether or not I'll make an impact in this, my 31st year alive.