On birthdays and remembering

It's been nearly a week, and I think I've inched closer to thirty-something with style and poise. But this is really the first moments of not just quiet but of being alone that I've had to reflect, to consider my birthday.

So much has changed since the last one, though not really in my surroundings. I find that it's the intangibles that change the most now: the thoughts I have, the hurts I experience, the way I love. These are most noticeable. These are changes I didn't foresee as a twenty-something. Naturally. I am quieter now. Hard to believe, I know. But it's true. I was much more fierce, my passion much louder — much more contagious — back then. Although the fact didn't hit me until two days before my birthday, a Saturday. I was in Bowling Green, KY, the stomping ground of my early twenties, when I was reminded through the light of a smile I hadn't seen in ten years of just how fiercely passionate I was. A woman who loved poetry and noticed beauty, who appreciated love and believed everyone she met was a poem in the flesh. A woman who wrote these often and shared them as often as anyone cared to listen.

I missed me on that Saturday. That Sunday too. It was strange... remembering myself.