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Damage report: Birthday edition

Every year I do this thing in which I think about my life, my expectations, what I have achieved, and set some goals. This happens around my birthday., my so-called birthday crisis which not every year has been a crisis per se.

I have always enjoyed birthday celebrations, the ones with my friends, and the ones with family, which in a way have also gotten their VIP versions, including just my parents, my brother, and my late dog.

Throughout my adult life, I have thrived but also enjoyed, I have cried but also from laughing so hard, and I have had new beginnings... a lot of them actually. Here is a short list of other things that have become staples of the birthday crisis or the damage report.

1. The promise of taking better care of myself

Eat more vegetables, exercise accordingly to compensate for my levels of stress - at times sadness or even anger too-, avoid animal products, and so on.

As years go by I added more things to this "to-do" list, regardless of me being prone to every once in a while say... "you only eat once, so let's eat more cake", and I would say that I follow it.

I accept how wise our bodies are, and how I start having aches or pains when my mind is too busy focusing on what I don't want, and then a sense of regret kicks in "How could I allow for this to get to me?". Exercising is a great ally for me.

Are you angry enough that you could punch a wall?... let's put that anger into your own good and exercise.

Are you too sad to face the world? Push yourself to the gym and be thankful for your mobility, your working limbs, and your health. Please note I speak from my experience, and though exercise has been very helpful, I would never consider it a replacement for therapy. It's a great complement to it, however.

2. The promise of "cleaning" my list of friends

This is a tough pill to swallow, and the fact that I had "sugar-coated" this one for other people and myself, only delayed my own peace.

You are already going through so much change, and adapting as you are building your own personality, taste, and values, and then...bum!

As SaraJuno clearly explains in this post, teenage friendships are hard! You are already going through so much change, and adapting as you are building your own personality, taste, and values, and then...bum! Bad personal choices occur when determining who your friends really are. But, that "confusion" shouldn't carry on through adulthood right?

My mom was kind and smart enough to look for courses such as Emotional Intelligence, Neurolinguistics, and more for my myself and our core family. And it shocked me to learn about my own share of responsibility for how I feel and what I allowed in my life. Suddenly, specific people on my contact list and in my social life throughout the month were not really my friends. Funny enough, when distancing myself from some of these people some of them decided to fight back and just like a toxic crush decided to "show up" more when I thought of cutting them off from my life. Others were kind enough to disappear on their own.

This point has evolved and it now includes the goal of limiting the time I spent with people that don't bring joy to my life (understood as those with conflicting core values, and who tend to drain the energy of those ones around them). As well as not chasing anyone, those who are interested will not find it difficult to keep in touch regardless of the distance (whether it is 15 minutes by car or 10,000 kilometers away).

3. The wish for more alone time.

Unlike the previous point, even in my most "social" times, I have been able to fulfill this wish periodically. And when I don't get a chance to go out, I turn to the canvas. If I get the time to be alone but not the energy to do much, I wander my thoughts, and usually, I enjoy it a lot.

After my first international change of residence, I noticed a big nostalgia with random sparks of funny, loving memories becoming my usual. In the beginning, I thought I was just early-stage depressed, and resisted these memory flashes, but now I really enjoy them. I take the time to remember something random and find the beauty in it.

4. Love life what the heck is that?

Ok, let's back up a little bit... Weirdly enough I recall this "Birthday crisis" taking place in my mind since my teenage years, and me being a weird mix of a cynic and a daydreamer, I would wish upon a boyfriend to share my weirdness with.

I was not very active on the dating scene, to be honest, still, I always expected the right fit to show up, though for many years I thought it possibly was just never going to happen. Also, let's face it, the social construction had me thinking there was something potentially wrong with me, and once a relative even told me "Smart women have a difficult time finding a partner, so you might have to settle"... Rude!

Seeing my friends going on dates, and listening to their matching skills even gave me serious #FOMO in my teenage years.

Seeing my friends going on dates, and listening to their matching skills even gave me serious #FOMO in my teenage years.

This point in my list now has a different approach to it, based on emotional accountability, and healthy limits.

5. Thankfulness to my family.

Again, another point that is unquestionable now, but back in my teen years this was taken for granted. This was until my grandad and heroe passed away.

That childhood fear of losing my loved ones was catching up again, and thanks to the Emotional Intelligence tools I realized it was a matter of channeling this feeling in a better way.

6. The Bucketlist check.

Back when I was 18 years old, after my first trip to Europe, I started writing down those things that I would love to do before becoming a senior, and before dying. As I learned more about myself, I started adding more and more items to it.

It all sounds good, doesn't it? Except for those times when I felt like I was kilometers away from my goals. This was freaking hard. So kids, don't compare to your friends and relatives...everrrrr!

New beginnings...again!

This year a new part of the damage control tradition has been added, thanks to the suggestions from Yvonne_Comparte.

Her advice was not to only inquire what my progress was in comparison to my "checklist", but also to write a letter. This letter has quite a liberating purpose since you are to write down in it everything that you wish to let go of before starting the next year of life. Once ready, you are to destroy the letter, as a symbol of you releasing yourself from its contents.

The next step is to write a set of positive phrases... yes affirmations is the exact word, as a wishlist for the year of life you are about to begin. This part was my favorite, it just kept flowing!

Yvonne's suggestion is definitely becoming a yearly practice, and I suggest it to anyone interested.


This year's birthday celebrations were quite amazing, after a couple of years of not celebrating with my family, I was thrilled and fortunate enough to be home. To get hugs from my 98 yr old grandma, my parents, my brother, extended family, and friends. What a wonderful time!

Still, in the lovely rhythm of happiness, I also noticed the contrast between those friendships that have grown apart. The weird feeling of no longer knowing enough about some of those who I shared with so many years before.

The striking contrast between those whose bonds are as strong as ever, and those whose silence and absence were still noticeable though we were in the same country, the same city, and even the same room again.

Likewise, I have failed to several of them.

The stricking contrast between those whose bonds are as strong as ever, and those whose silence and absecense was still noticeable tough we were in the same country, same city and even same room again.

It is such an odd feeling of being an outsider. However, I must confess that it was there before - in my teenage years, and still remained until my early 20s. But now as an immigrant, the feeling has flooded other aspects of my life beyond the social scene. Ouch!

Nonetheless, life is beautiful, and let's face it, people change or evolve, maybe in some cases just adapt to their changing realities as well, even when they swear everything is the same "back home", you can see from miles away it is not. With some deprecations on the friendship front - including the loss of my beloved Chihuahua - counting all my blessings does come up to a surplus.

Party like it's the end of the world - LviBlog
Party like it's the end of the world

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


15 mai

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


15 mai



27 juil. 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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