I haven’t been a birthday person for a while. Probably since my middle school friends burnt a carpet in our living-room on my birthday. Or tried to hook me up with a guy from our class whom I completely disliked. Or just started inviting side people. Or expected you to put up a “table”. Or just when most of my family wasn’t there. So I preferred getting presents beforehand, and just spending a quiet evening at a nice cafe with some of my family and my best friend. And working and/or studying during the day.
My SAS birthday started yesterday, with chocolates and cards and best wishes from my shipboard family. And then, a few minutes past midnight, when I was sitting in the piano lounge trying to do the reading for my next class, Rachel and Kathy jumped on me with a “Happy Birthday” song, and got joined by a Ghanaian interport student whom I haven’t even seen before. And it was awesome.
And then, since the morning, random people, whom I knew well and not so well, approached me, gave me hugs and wished me a happy birthday. And we had no test in one class, which made me very happy. And no quiz in the other, which made me even happier. And then I sat down to lunch in the sun, and people came and joined me, wishing me all the best. And then at dinner me and my shipboard friends sat down, like a family, and continued celebrating. And I knew then who cared, because they came and shared with me this huge, enormous chocolate ice-cream cake that they ordered for me (still making me eat the biggest piece), and it was a first real birthday cake I got in a long time.
Now I’m sitting by the pool. There’s a brand new moon shining above the ship, with a bright star underneath it – my star, my little travel companion. And it’s very peaceful. Everything is very peaceful. And me – yes, I am almost at peace with myself, with the world surrounding me, with the waves splashing in the pool and the salty ocean wind rustling my hair. There’s always a feeling like something’s missing, some important part of the mosaic, but it goes backstage today. I have no right to complain.
I am grateful for this. For being here, on this adventure, and being, just being. I guess that’s enough. Off to Ghana we go.
And oh my, what a day I will have tomorrow. That amount of homework is just too-damn-high!