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On The Eve Of My Birthday

Tonight marks my last night as a 24 year old. This past year has been eventful to say the least. Ive circumvented the globe and become a fully fledged Son of Neptune. Ive gotten back to my beloved California and bathed in its radiant sunlight for over half a year. My heart has been broken, healed, hardened and tempered in the forge of experience and life. Ive learned while struggling against personal adversity that I am stronger than Ive ever believed. God is always with me, as are my parents and the rest of my family. But I can meet my own gaze in the mirror with pride and conviction. Ive stood on my own two feet, completely abandoned by any sense of social decency or safety, and lived. Ive weathered the storm and inhaled the harsh winds of reality, recycling them as fuel for my weathered lungs. What can stop me? Doubt, remorse, fear or cowardice? I hold the power within my own mind to defeat them all. Im the Father of my demons, and I alone can defeat them. How about existential issues. What is my place in this world? Will I ever amount to anything befitting of my personal vision of myself? Can I ever truly be accepted and successful? Yes to all three, and the myriad of questions that will follow. Our world is shaped by those with the strongest, most stalwart beliefs. Ive been called arrogant in the past, and for good reason. I may not be the best at everything, but for those select things I excel at, I have no competition. False modesty is just as pitiful and repulsive as an undeserved overabundance of pride. So Ill strike a happy medium. Just so happens that my happy medium is offensive to most people. Fuck them. I live for me, not the opinions of others. Lastly, Ill address my need to chase. Chase money, chase friendship, chase women. Approval was my carrot dangling at the edge of a cane pole, and I strove for it tirelessly, ardently devoted to popularity. Funnily enough, the moment I ceased to care and instead turned my efforts towards self-esteem boosting, women and friendship appeared in droves, seeking me out single-mindedly with disturbingly dogmatic devotion. As my shoulders broadened my contacts list swelled with names and numbers of the feminine persuasion, and the thicker my arms grew the more robust my social calendar and commitments became. One could glean that people are shallow and lack ethics based on this. I simply concede to the fact that its human nature. My gift to myself on this birthday is to love myself again, first and foremost. This world is uncaring, harsh, and bitter. You can expose your heart to it unabashedly and without reserve, only to recoil in moribund pain as your precious vessel is sliced down the center, your feelings thrown asunder. Fuck that. I need nobody but myself in this game that we all play. I have God and family in my corner, but even the Bible readily admits that it's all up to me. I succeed or perish entirely based on my efforts. True freedom. I can imagine no greater gift to bequeath upon myself.

I felt the need to call you again, a glimmer of irrationality in my normally organized, effective mindset. Why did I feel this? Because I wanted to indulge in a deadly habit one last time. Make no mistake, when that clock strikes 0009, the past will still be dead. I will still have moved on, and you will still be a footnote in a long, promiscuous history. What will change is the course of my thoughts. They will no longer control me, Ill control them. 2 years ago tomorrow I waited patiently and pathetically all day to recieve a text from you. Women that I had known for a few weeks texted me wishing me a Happy Birthday, peppering me with an unending variety of emoticons. Hearts, kisses, sexual winks, they all fluttered unfettered across my screen. Summer, Katie, Sammantha. But not you. And that's the greatest blessing I could've recieved. My gift to myself is that of a constant reminder of my self worth. Ive sacrificed it for too long to satisfy my weakness and satitate my need for comfort. You know what's painful? What stretches and distorts the edges of your sanity, increasing your pain tolerance exponentially? Growth. You know what's comfortable, painless, and free of conflict, perspiration, and turmoil? A casket. Death. Nothingness. Im thankful for all the pain, periods of loneliness, and battles with crippling anxiety youve put me through. Utilizing your hatred, anger, and snobbery, Ive fueled my escape from my chrysalis. I am the most important being in my world, and no one will ever usurp me again, much less an unworthy, contemptuous woman. Im the King on my throne again. Happy birthday to me.

I anticipate the future with almost unbearable excitement. Freed from my chains of bondage by my own hand, the same one that locked me up and kept me servile for so long, I greet the coming promise with a rapid heartbeat and raging inferno of enthusiasm igniting within my breast. Will things be adverse at times, testing my ability to carry on while held in the sneering gaze of misfortune and belittlement? Of course, and I court it with a smirk of defiance. Nothing in this life can break me, least of all the people that I encounter while living it. Ive long been the outcast, accepted but eschewed. I hover on the edge of social groups, inserting myself into their ranks but extricating myself swiftly when drama rears its redundant head. Im a shadow with a luminous shine hidden within its darkness. Ill never be part of any one clique, and that's fine. I embrace this "curse" with relish. The world is mine, simply because Im willing to bleed for my dreams. Cocky and presumptuous? Maybe. True? You bet your ass. The confidence and optimism of my youth, long dormant, is echoing within my soul again, stirred from its hibernation by the reawakening of my sentience. World, prepare youself. Im coming.

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