Thursday, June 1, 2006

Birthday Perspective

In 10 days I will be 32 years old. Normally I would be planning the extravaganza and giving everyone a birthday present list. I am just not feeling that this year. I can honestly say that the last year of that has been quite different than the first 31. It's the start of hurricane season. I am still sleeping on an air mattress and I still don't officially have housing yet (no keys = no house). So why make too big of a deal about a birthday? Of course, I will still celebrate in some form or fashion. My approach to it this year is a feeling of renewal. About the second or third night after Katrina, I was sleeping all alone on the floor of a dark room in Mississippi. I didn't know where most of my family and friends were and I didn't know what was going to happen in the future for me. I went to sleep for about two weeks straight feeling that this was the beginning of a lifetime of pain for me and my people. I was going to sleep and waiting to not wake up. Each morning I did, saw the sunlight and I knew that one of these days I wouldn't be stressing about all of this foolishness following the storm. It damn sure hasn't been easy. Actually, it's been down right f@#ked up many days. The world is tough to navigate through when you are dealing with stupid ass people and are forced to make choices about your life and going back to what you had before is not an option. That's how you get to a point where it's hard to be excited about anything. I can't have what I want. If it were up to me, I would be in my yard June 11 lighting up the grill, sipping on some Crown and smoking a big cigar with my love ones. Instead, I will most likely be watching TV at an apartment in Clinton Mississippi with my family and still trying to make sense out of the fact my grandmother won't be around to give me my birthday licks on the arm because a damn levee broke. Then, somewhere along the day my parents will call, then some of my friends, then the baby will probably bring me a piece of paper or something as a present and tell me happy birthday and try to sing. Then maybe Tara will make me a cake that doesn't have any chocolate and my sisters and brothers will call too. Then I will remember the reasons why I am celebrating in the first place. Life is just a contest between your circumstances and your attitude. If your attitude stays bad because of the cards you were dealt then you are cheating living out of what it could be. However, if you take all the bullshit and aggravation, suck it up and still find a way to get a laugh and a good time out of it then you are cheating dying because living in this dumb ass world without a way to smile is just like being dead and there is no need to be here if you are going to do that all the time. Like my daddy always tells me, you have to find a way to enjoy it.


QueenJoya said...



pEaCe AnD bLeSsInGs

Anonymous said...

Happy B-Day, Cliff!

"life is a contest between your circumstances and your attitude..." Is that your's? I love quotes and I will definitely add that one to my list.

I was in NOLA two weeks ago and got to see the ruins up close. My heart goes out to you and all those affected.

Mama said...

Yes, life is dealing us a bad of cards but we have to stay strong and get through this. Don't let attitude and circumstances get in the way of your strong constitution. Life can get you down, if you let it. Thank God for what you have. Tara, those two precious babies, parents that love and adore you, sisters and brothers that think the world of you, a grandmother in Opelousas that love you, Auntie Nell and Auntie Anna that miss you and all of your cousins that miss you also.

So, go on and celebrate the fact that you are alive and fortunate to make another year older. Some people did not get that chance.