Today is my birthday.
I arrived in New York 13 days ago, and I'm missing my family acutely. The Mister is still in Barcelona, working hard, and working on a plan to visit me here, as am I planning a half-term break to return to my beloved Barna. Today was also the first day at the new school with returning staff coming back (last week I was oriented amongst other brand-new staff only).
I am sleeping on a (very comfortable) friend's sofa until tomorrow, when I will move into a studio of my own, but it's one of the most uncertain birthdays I can remember. I really have no idea what to do with myself. I'm another year older, and far away from those I love.
The past few birthdays have been something of a celebration of self; maybe that's your late twenties for you; maybe that's the large dash of Leo in my character. I've allowed myself to be fêted, and have revelled in the attention. At my 30th, I remember telling a good friend, "I haven't had a wedding, nor a baby shower, nor an engagement party - and that's all fine with me, but I'll be damned if I won't have a big celebration for this."
Being alone and in a foreign place has brought home just how egocentric the past few celebrations have been. There's now a shift in how I'm seeing the function of this day, namely that without my nearest and dearest here, I don't feel much like celebrating myself, because I'm not nearly as much me without them.
Today's indulgences? An Italian ice cream eaten in the sunshine, and some facetime calls to my loved ones. A more selfless birthday than those past; perhaps that means I'm finally all grown up.