I read once that Stephen King wrote every day of the year except his birthday and Christmas - and then a page later he apologised for being a liar and not wanting to sound like a dork - truthfully he writes on both those days too.
My birthday blog is becoming a bit of a tradition now, and one that I hope to continue. I don't know, there's a lot going on on the 31st of January for me, sometimes a writing break brings it all into focus. This year, it's come out as a poem. A gift for you. I hope you enjoy it.
when I was born I was selfish.
I forced my way into the world kicking and screaming
and I stayed that way for as long as they'd let me
wailed and moaned until I got what I wanted
demanded attention to my every need
and was loved for it.
they lavished me with gifts and toys
they smiled and they held me
and they told me i was beautiful.
a little miracle.
and some days still i am that creature
and i demand to be praised
and i demand to be loved
and i am arrogant and stubborn and selfish again.
but like that baby who i recognise and yet do not remember
my parents first
and then my friends
show me a love far more powerful than giving in to my demands
and teach me to be better than that.
now I fend my own way on this treacherous earth
and now i have become better than that baby in a hundred different ways.
i do not pretend to be perfect of course
that mewling infant is still inside me somewhere
caged though he may be
and sometimes still he rattles the bars
and i speak with his voice
and i judge with his eyes
and i turn friend into enemy with a careless tongue.
but i am learning to pacify him,
and while i don't deserve their friendship or help
my companions continue to lead me down the hard road of life
collecting me when i stumble
lifting me when i fall
guiding me when the path branches in directions i cannot fathom.
and the baby will perhaps forever bang his chubby hands against my resolve
but i will not yield and look back on my mistakes as righteous and bold
and my indiscretions as the proper course.
21 years is not long enough for learning all the lessons of life
and i know the road ahead will be steep and rocky
and that the shadows of darkness will always loom over me.
and maybe it would be easier if someone carried me
and fed me
gave me the praise and love i demanded
and told me that i was a little miracle
but the baby has had his years
and now it is time to be a man.