So if you couldn’t tell by the title, today was my birthday. It was a surprisingly good one, actually. My friends and family are wonderful. ❤
And haha, the best thing happened to me within the very first minutes of my birthday. I was at the bowling alley with some friends, and after they sang to me at midnight, on my next turn they were like, “This turn will predict the epicness of your twenties!” And I got all nervous and only bowled a 7 and it was sad. But then the lane we were using, like, self-destructed after I bowled that seven…the pins didn’t get picked up and the balls didn’t come back, and the bowling alley employees couldn’t fix it, so they had to move us to a new lane, and it took us back a turn, so I got to re-do my first bowl, AND GOT A STRIKE! It was as if the Universe said, oh no, Maya, that is not a good enough epicness indicator: REDO. It was pretty great. 😀
Now that my day is winding down, it’s time for a Private Party, India.Arie style. I’m 20 today. That deserves a “Baby, look how far we’ve come.” A whole new decade of my life is opening up. When we think about the fact that we’d just survived the Y2K scare and I was in the 4th grade the last time this happened to me, I should be expecting a whole mess of growing and changing and changes in the coming years. It’s kind of crazy to wonder what this decade is going to do to/for me: finishing college, probably going to grad school (I’ve been thinking law recently…), getting a real job and becoming a functional member of society…
My new motto in life is to roar, loudly and confidently and make my presence known. I mean, they were called the Roaring 20s, right? Might as well take advantage of that, stop being such a scaredy-cat, and live my life out loud, with the volume turned way WAY up.
I was scared in the past couple weeks that I wasn’t “old enough to be 20.” When I was younger, I always imagined that by the time I was in my 20s, I would know what I wanted to do and be on track to accomplishing some major goals in my life…and I didn’t think I was. But then today I stopped to take a look at where I am and how far exactly I have come, and I’m right on time. “Life is a journey, not a destination”, right? That means schedules can be rearranged a little for the trip’s sake. After all, I’m the only me there’s ever gonna be, right? I gotta make my own journey count for something, even if I’m the only person it matters to.
I got this great birthday message from this website I’m subscribed to today. I’ll copy and paste the best part here: You see, someone like Maya Reid doesn’t come along all that often. In fact, there’s never been a single one like you, nor is there ever ANY possibility that another will come again. You’re an Angel among us. Someone whose eyes see what no others will EVER see, whose ears hear what no others will EVER hear, and whose perspective and feelings will NEVER ever be duplicated.Without YOU, the Universe, and ALL THAT IS, would be sadly less than it is.
Today of all days, I will not be critical. I will not laugh at that statement and wonder bemusedly if the person writing it was cracking up. I will simply accept that my existence matters to someone out there, to a lot of someones out there…most importantly of all, to me.
And I think that today of all days, that should be shown. Here’s a poem I wrote for Valentine’s Day and will perform on campus in about two weeks:
Restin my arms on this table, lookin into those eyes I see that you
love me. Real love, like I can remember my mama listenin to
Mary J searchin for when I was too little to even sing along
That lift me up and make me feel like I can fly like Maxwell gave me Pretty Wings like me screamin
“Faster, Daddy, Faster!” on the swingset in Burch Grove Park when I was five
kind of love. I wanted him to spin my head right round, right round go over the top and
turn inside out like that boy on TV. But you already know me inside and out.
You love with that protective kind of love, like seat belt races and a pink bike helmet for my 6th birthday.
A proud kind of love, like That’s my baby! at graduation even though I made her promise not to.
You love me like you know me like he wanted me to know my people when I was 13 and he made me watch Roots, all four DVDs.
With a love that knows its own history, like what we made November 4, 2008, in what was once called the Third World Center, right across the street.
It ain’t that foolish kind of love, no: Only through loving you have I ever truly been able to see.
With that celebratory love: with no shame, you congratulate me when I accomplish something and you remind me of my strengths when I feel weak.
You love me with a love that grew, like my little sister’s hair has since her flat iron caught on fire.
With that deep kind of love, deep like the trenches in the Atlantic Ocean where my ancestors lay.
That rollercoaster, keep-your-hands-and-feet-inside-the-car-cuz-this-is-gon-be-one-helluva-ride kind of love.
With that spontaneous love, that “I wanna go dancing in the rain” “Okay let’s go” kind of love.
That nitty-gritty not afraid to put your hands in my fro kind of love.
Not that romantic comedy omg isn’t everything just so freaking perfect kind of love, no
You love me honestly, like I’ma give it to ya straight, but only because I know you’re worth the truth
Truth, like Sojourner, you will make journeys for me. We got that ain’t no mountain high enough kind of love.
And it’s a strong love, strong like that football player my momma wouldn’t me date when I was 15 who could bench press me
We got that faithful kind of love, the kind where you will never cheat on me, never con out of knowing how phenomenal I truly am, a gift Maya Angelou gave me when I was 8.
It’s that curious kind of love: you’re constantly trying to peel back my layers and find out what’s inside.
And some might call it a free love, not that hippie spread-your-legs for anybody type of B.S. , but a Monica Now I know why they say the best things are free love
And I think we’re ready for it to be an open love; we don’t gotta hide it no more, like when I was 7 seeing Hercules in theaters and Meg wouldn’t say she’s in love.
And if we’re gonna be open about it, I guess we should start right now: if my girl India were here right now, she’d call this my Private Party. True love begins with me. I wrote this poem looking in a mirror.
Ps, you know how folks always ask you if you feel older on your birthday? I usually think that’s a dumb question, but today I almost do. I…have a recognition of the fact that I will be getting a lot older soon. Is that the same thing? Also, I had a glass of wine today and am planning a trip to see a concert with my friends all with the help of no adults…we are the adults. I realized that today. Today I can say this and actually believe it: I am an adult, and I finally feel like one.