So here is my deal with celebrating.

I got a second chance.  After surviving what should kill you, and every Birthday and holiday ending up in some sort of tragic awful ending, I got a new lease.

My first Birthday out of my abusive relationship, I realized I had cried on the last seven of them.  And, not just Birthday's, but I was riddled with anxiety, fear, sadness, and chaos at every turn, every day, holiday or not.

That first Birthday, on the other side, I didn't even know what to do with myself.  I found a beautiful, strong, captivating friend (CRL)  who decided we would right this Birthday deal, and we celebrated for three days.  From then on, I loved celebrating everything, it was like those videos where you see puppies touching grass for the first time after being in a puppy mill all of their lives, happy and rolling all around... thrilled at the freedom and goodness of life.  She taught me that I deserve it, that I should do it, that I was worth celebrating.  I am forever grateful.

Of course I also always find myself overly emotional too, because I recognize the opportunity that I was given.  To be happy again.  To flourish and grow, to love and laugh and live out loud, again.  To be surrounded by strong, wonderful, awesome people, who love me through and through.

I am always overly grateful for the love I am shown, I am awkward with gifts, I nearly started crying with glee on my Birthday the other night, but also, same every year.  I feel guilty if I do not get to thank every single person individually for the messages and calls.  I imagine it seems a bit much, and people probably think I am overdoing it on the gratitude, but when you've been dealt a shit hand for entirely too long, celebrating becomes joy on level 100.

So when you see me on a happy note, this is why.  Raise a glass and cheers me, because, well, I can! Whoohoo!