I hate my birthday. I have for a very long time. My excuse was always that there is "too much expectation" and "too much attention on me" or "i dont' like planning things for myself." But the truth is that for a long time my birthday was more than just a fun day of cake and partying. It was another stroke on the ticking time bomb that was my existance. I know that sounds really melodramatic, but thats really what I thought when I was younger. I knew that with every birthday I was another year closer to the day when my personal life would explode (aka coming out of the closet) and I would have to either kill myself or run away and never come back. (no wonder i developed mental problems!) I didn't really have a lot of perspective back then, but none the less I usually spent the night before my birthday crying in my room trying desperately to think of a way to avoid the peril in my future.
But what about now? I am turning 20 this saturday and my life is in no danger of exploding. The day I dreaded so much in my early teen years has passed and I'm doing just fine. As a matter of fact I'm better than I've ever been in my entire life. I'm comfortable with who I am, turns out my family is pretty cool witht he whole gay thing, I live in a nice apartment, I have great friends, a bright future, I'm getting a fabulous education and wonderful performance opportunities, exposure to important people, blah blah blah...
Looking back on all those years I wasted in paralyzing fear I have a lot of regrets. I regret wasting 20 years of my life dreading my future, hating myself, and hiding from the world. I wish I could go back and convince the young me that I WOULD BE OK. I wish I could have had a more normal childhood....... one where I didn't cry on my birthday. One where I didn't wish I were somewhere or someone else all the time.
I was watching a documentary online about four former LDS men who spend their lives in the church in Utah, served missions, came out of the closet and left the church. While I think the documentary spent too much time focused on useless bitter feeligns toward the LDS faith, one man's outlook on his life really touched me. He spoke of his upbringing in utah saying "Twenty years of shame.... I'll take that for another 60 years of happiness."."
Thats what my 20th birthday is going to mean to me this year. A new chapter in my life. A chapter that isn't full of secrets, pain, and useless guilt. In my next 60+ years I'm going to live the life I never thought I could have. A life that will hopefully include a successful career, a husband, a family, and broadway of course :)
so... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME :)