Lima Al-Azzeh

The Annual Birthday Epiphanies Post

In Vancouver Events on December 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Happy Birthday to Me - Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography

Every year, I wonder what events are a direct byproduct of Karma. When something bad or negative happens, I would often sit and try to desperately recollect what I may have done to have incurred this punishment. Karma’s a tricky thing, whether positive or negative, because there are no guarantees on your ROI or a scheduled day of reckoning. There’s no real moving on with Karma, it’s perpetual, and for an anal retentive planner like me, this can be exceedingly disconcerting.

Last week, I wrestled with and fretted over a familiar fear; being in a room surrounded by my loveliest friends  and yet feeling a persistent loneliness still. I tried hard to remind myself of how lucky I am, and to be grateful for what I do have and not give too much thought for what I don’t have.

I sat at home and sulked and sighed. I went to work each day feeling lethargic and uninspired. As my wise young friend David would say, I was giving the universe every opportunity to fuck with me. (Don’t do that, is his advice).

I would try to heed his advice and get happy again. I would remind myself: there are people in the world with far greater problems; matters of life and death, but it’s hard to really  live that truth when all those problems seemed so far away from me.

On Friday night I was reminded that those matters weren’t all that far away from me at all.

My best friend’s brother received a very important call; one that his entire family: his mother, father, sister and loving wife had all been waiting for patiently for a long time now. This changed things considerably. In that moment, it was out with the pre-birthday blues and in with the positive thoughts – I wasn’t about to give the universe any chance to fuck with this.

A couple of middle-of-the-night status update texts, a long day of waiting and communicating with my best friend as she worried, waited and hoped for the best, and almost a full 24 hours later, the verdict was in – he was all right, everything went well.

My friend’s brother was the recepient of the most priceless gift: an opportunity to celebrate many more birthdays and see many more happy days and celebrations with his family.

It seems that overnight the universe had handed me a whole lot of perspective, offering that day as more than just the day of my birthday party, but a true, real celebration of family, friends and best of all, of life itself. With all its ups and even its petty downs.

I couldn’t care less about all the niggling absurdities that had bothered me so much before. I felt like my world had changed and my friendship with my best friend along with it; we’re stronger together than ever before.

That night a group of friends gathered to celebrate, and I took a second to step back, yes, somewhat drunkenly, to appreciate the communion of friends old and new, people who I consider an extension of my own family. I realized how far we all had come, how much we’ve all struggled with our own demons, how each of us have stared rock bottom in the face and triumphed regardless. I felt grateful, and what’s more, I felt completely blessed.

I don’t know if any of the events that transpired this weekend had anything to do with Karma, or mere coincidence, or some unnamed phenomenon, or maybe it’s just a classic lesson in bad things happening to good people (and good things happening to good people) – which I suppose you could just say is life.

One thing I know I’m grateful for  is that I got my ass kicked in the “feeling sorry for myself” department.

Happy (slightly belated) birthday to me.

Please help give others the gift of a future with their friends and family, register to become an organ donor here. It’s really simple, and I would consider it the greatest birthday gift. xo

UPDATE: More information on signing up as an organ donor if you’re a reader who is not from B.C.

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland – these provinces do not currently have a registry, signing the back of your medical card or a donor card and making your wishes known to your family is standard practice.

Alberta –www.healthlinkalberta.ca

Manitoba – www.transplantmanitoba.ca

Ontario – www.giftoflife.on.ca

Quebec – www.quebec-transplant.qc.ca

New Brunswick – www.gnb.ca/0217/organ-e.asp

Nova Scotia – www.legacyoflife.ns.ca

Prince Edward Island – www.gov.pe.ca


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  1. I had tears in my eyes while reading this. Beautiful.

  2. Happy Birthday Limo..
    Hugs
    Maha

  3. I love you so much. I don’t even know what to write right now, but I know I don’t have to say it.. you already know. xo

  4. Dear Lima; A belated happy birthday to you. Thank you for sharing you feelings about love and optimism.
    We are all lucky to have you in our lives. Barb

  5. […] mind at that moment and knowing my friends were all there for me was such a huge help. Lima wrote a blog post about her birthday epiphanies that does such a wonderful job of explaining the situation from her […]

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