When I was small, each morning on my birthday I'd get up early and crawl into my parents' bed and make them tell me the story of my birth. At first, it was a desire to disprove one of my older brother's who claimed I was adopted. He fed me that lie because he had a Baby Book, one of those scrap books parents keep to document first steps, first haircuts, and first pukes. They show how much children are loved. Well, my brother had one, and I did not.
Now I realize my Baby Book's absence was due to my mother and father - on child number two and three, respectively - being less anal about raising children. But I was naive and starving for attention. Those tales reinforced how much they loved me, that I was wanted from the first moment the pregnancy test stroke blue. I made my parents include every detail - how did the nurses describe me? When did the doctor say you needed to have an emergency c-section? I needed them to be real. I wanted to be real.
Yesterday, on my 29th birthday, I realized I'm still search for authenticity in my life by trying out new things. These new experiences help me navigate a world where sensory overload has numbed us and made us feel like being excited again is impossible (futile?).
So in the past week I’ve attended an opera for the first time, hosted my first real dinner party for 18 people (!!!), and didn’t stress out about my writing career (a bit). This last thing is important because I do doubt myself a lot. Did I write enough today? Is it even good?
I’m ashamed to admit I’ve spoken these questions aloud in the presence of other people. One of them, a good friend, scolded me for this verbal self-flagellation. “Morgan, you are not a robot,” she said. “It’s OK to take breaks and think about other things.”
So my next year on Earth is dedicated to enjoying the other, even things I’ve yet to discover. Maybe I’ll create new memories I’ll share one day with a small child who’s crawled into my bed and interrupted the last hour of sleep. Karma.