A not so happy birthday

Since I can remember I've always looked forward to my birthday :) I've never been one for fear of ‘getting old'. Instead, I’ve approached each birthday, with the excitement of the beginning of a new chapter; also, a moment to really reflect. But for the first time as May 12th was approaching, I was not looking forward to my birthday, I was not looking forward to changing. If you’re familiar with the quote, ‘your life can change within a moment,’ well boy did I get to experience that. Everything that was the becoming of Vanessa suddenly became the downfall of Vanessa, personally and professionally; all in the period of two months...

Thankfully the tornado that lasted two months eventually began to simmer down. However, the days approaching my birthday began to draw closer and closer; the dread in my gut began to expand and expand. I wasn’t happy with where I was in my life and how certain aspects in my life had unravelled into such gloomy conclusions. In those two months, I had unexpectedly just come out of a four-year relationship and that was extremely painful and sadly it still is. I had high hopes and ambitions for the relationship; I never expected the relationship to end, I didn’t want it to end. But I wasn’t going to stay in a relationship where those feelings weren’t mutual. And as painful for me as it was to walk away, I knew deep down I was doing the right thing for me, for us, even though it didn’t feel like the right thing. And then followed the four days before my birthday, I quit my new job. It was a huge relief; because my new job turned out to be an absolute nightmare, I had never been treated in such an inhumane manner. The day came at my new job, which confirmed the final straw for me. And driving home that day I had the most in lightning thought, “I DON’T NEED MORE NEGATIVE SHIT IN MY LIFE.” On that day alone I came to the decision that although being unemployed wasn’t ideal. It was more beneficial being unemployed, searching for a job and just being plain happy again; than being in a job where I was served with a daily dose of immense negativity.

My life felt like the perfect recipe for a rom-com………

With all this overwhelming change, it had become apparent to me that I had developed some type of PTSD towards change; and that wasn’t ok. Sure, my feelings of sadness were justifiable to an extent. But it had come to the attention of myself and dear loved ones that I was consuming myself with all this negativity. And although I was trying to move forward and I wasn’t really ‘trying.’

So here I was LITERALLY BACK TO SQUARE ONE; unemployed and single, not exactly the ideal recipe that I wanted in my life and a situation that wasn’t motivating me to celebrate my 26th birthday. But I needed to start really dealing with this predicament that I was in. All I knew was that I didn’t want all this negativity to cause me to fear in facing the now and the future. I started to think about the previous difficulties I had faced in my life and how I had managed to deal with and overcome them. And from there I started to rediscover how to reflect, accept and regain a bit of hope and determination again.


The day of my birthday arrived and I was still partly sad, but I was also PARTLY HAPPY. I knew changing and retraining my perception wouldn’t be an overnight fix, but it was a start, a method to move forward with my life. And the fact that I was partly happy, was a sign of me moving forward. I also reminded myself and accepted that its ok to feel sad. We get so caught up in the idea of overcoming a bad situation or trying to stay positive. When in fact I’m learning that this is really damaging us from becoming positive again. Because we are not allowing ourselves to properly grieve our emotions.

So here is to the first-ever birthday I didn’t look forward to and didn’t truly enjoy. It’s really going to be one of the birthdays I will be eternally grateful for.