Well after last nights trip down nightmare lane, I definitely needed a breather before tackling part two of my The One with All the Birthdays Blog.
And I tell you, post 2000, things did not get any better…in fact that slope became that much more slippyer(?)… um…slipperier…(?) …ok, you get the point.
2003 – 25th Birthday
25…a quarter century old. However by this time…I felt about 80yrs old (how does an 80yr old feel? With his hands of course…badda bing) The year leading up to my birthday had been nothing short of tragic. I the last 12 months, I had lost my gran, who died on my late brother’s birthday (and if you remember, her birthday was 2 days before mine) AND I lost my closest cousin who shockingly took his own life. I know right? You couldn’t make this shizniz up.
I was working in a job I hated, and admittedly, I lost all interest in giving my all to the job, especially since the landscape change there had put idiots in charge. And all my standing up for my rights stood for nothing there.
The only saving grace I had was that I was headed to the UK for the month of my birthday to stay with my other cousin who had moved there (who I haven’t spoken to since and miss tremendously)
After an amazing London adventure, (that was ironically repeated earlier this year), I spent my birthday in Leicester with cousin and his wife, and of course British weather does nothing for one’s mood.
Homesick, yet in no hurry to return to my job, I braved my birthday for the sake of survival….not knowing what awaited me when I got back. The biggest screw job of a dismissal known to man. If anyone wants to read the expose I wrote after my firing…let me know…I went out Burg style 🙂
2004 – 26th birthday
After officially being terminated from my job in February of this year, thinks got worse when my mom lost her job a month later. So suddenly from a two income house, we were down to a zero income house.
I took my sudden unemployment as a sign that this was the kick in the butt I needed to follow my dreams and go from 8 years in the IT industry into journalism and entertainment – where my heart truly laid.
Jobs in the industry were few and far between, but I tried for anything that may sound even remotely like the TV, music or media field I was dying to get in.
I got some extras work on TV an minor roles in ads, but nothing significant, and the money began drying up quickly.
Thankfully, I got given a chance to shine as a writer for the website of a reality show that ran for 3 months called Project Fame. The job was amazing and the breakthrough that lead me to where I am today.(I even have a tattoo commemorating the date).
However, the pay wasn’t great, and I remember at the interview saying I would be happy with a bucket of chicken for my salary. ( I think that’s what nailed the job for me)
As all good things, it came to an end. And the next 8 months I sat unemployed, trying to just make it to the next source of income. I lost a helluva lot of friends who couldn’t understand how I could allow this to happen instead of just getting another job in IT.
The night my mom and I had old stale ice cream cones for dinner…I knew that I would never let this happen again.
Anyways, long story short. My birthday came and went without any acknowledgement. No friends, no money, no food.
On the plus side, I think for the first time I reached my “ideal weight”
Wow…ok….my eyes are actually burning from the tears right now…um…I mean the dust…there is so much dust in here (that’s right im writing my blog from an abandoned warehouse).
2006 – 28th Birthday
After spending the last 2 years moving from awesome job to awesomer job, I managed to fulfill my ambitions of working for some of the brightest and best. I forged out careers as a writer for magazines, I worked for TV, hosted shows, acted in a few movies, I gave The Burg life…I had made friends (and enemies) and by October 2006 I was working for my hero in a record label that he helped build. I had made it to where I wanted to be…(for then).
What better way to celebrate, my birthday, than with my first officially Birthday dinner!
I had know my work colleagues for about 2 months. I had known my Myspace friends for what seemed like forever. I had old work associates that promised they would love to stay in touch.
The perfect invite list for a meaningful dinner….
Through the help of one of my new work mates, we organized a good restaurant and booked about 20 seats.
Nervous that I didn’t even have enough money in the bank to pay for myself I knew this would be a disaster…but hey it was my birthday, surely people would pitch in for a dinner right?
I arrived at the restaurant about 2 hours before the dinner was meant to start and ordered a coke light…which took exactly 2 hours to drink.
Let’s do the math again since we love numbers
Out of the 20 people I invited, 15 showed up. That was HUGE
Out of the 15 people who showed up, 5 I had known for less than six months, 4 of them I was meeting for the first time, and 5 of them I am still in touch with today.
My most awkward moment…smsing a friend at the table asking him if I could borrow money to pay for my meal. Yeah, real classy of me.
2007 – 29th Birthday
Ah, this…this was a special one.
During my year I had met the love of my life. I had fallen hopelessly in love with her, and for the first time thought about things I was normally 100% against. Marriage, children, sex in public restrooms….
Ok…ignore that last part.
I had spent most of the year trying to woo her. Yes, I still use the word woo because I’m old skool like that. We had gone out a number of times, I had met, and liked to thing I was like by, her family. Everything was there for the perfect life… except…she didn’t believe in it. She was never sure how she felt about me, she was scared to make a choice…and ultimately, I don’t think she believed I was genuine about the way I felt with her…
They were the most intense, happiest, most painful months of my life…and ultimately, nothing ever happened between us. Not so much as even a kiss…
For months it was like being the boy in the plastic bubble.
I fell for her…hard….and truth is, no matter how bad things became, no matter how much it hurt, I still love her to this day, and she will probably never know how much….
After making her birthday, by her own admission, one of the best ever, she in turn promised me that my birthday would be special too. (uh oh).
By September things had broken down to the point where she didn’t want to speak to me or see me every again. I of course, had to try everything I knew to try and win her heart, but in the end…ended up pushing her too far away to ever get back.
Then come October, I was in the greatest depression since, well, since The Great Depression. I knew I had to get away from everything. With my birthday coming up, it may just be the straw that broke this cameltoe’s back.
The week before my birthday I knew what I had to do.
I had to disappear from it all. I needed to leave in order to save myself.
My birthday arrived, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. Then the morning after I packed a bag, and left home with no money, and no food and headed out.
I drove. I drove from 9am until 2am the next morning. Getting lost on deserted farm roads, almost flipping my car trying to avoid a rabbit in the road, but loving every minute of it.
For the next 11 days, I drove through 5 provinces, relying on the kindess of others to take care of food and accommodation (because I was still dead broke at this time too.)
I had what people call and epiphany.
The whole journey was documented by me and my little video camera, and in fact you can view most all of it here – http://www.youtube.com/burgsworld
When I returned I was a new person. And as always a big moment in my life calls for a tattoo. Now forever on my left forearm, it read simply – “Love Thyself”
2009 – 2010
Last year was actually fairly timid birthday, I endured the singing of happy birthday in our staff meeting, I even left the balloons on my door long enough for the party planners to be satisfied, and the rest of the day I spent it in my office till as late as possible before heading to a late night cd/dvd store to do the thing that makes me happy. Browse.
The question is, what will this year bring? 2010 has been one of the single most eventful years of my life. (Yes! Over and above what you have read up until now) and seeing as though i’m hoping its my last birthday in this country…I even thought about having dinner with some of my nearest and dearest friends…
*it was at this moment the world gave a collective sigh and said in unison….This kid just doesn’t learn!*