10 July 2012

Happy Birthday, Amma

Amma (mother, in Tamil) and I have had a long-standing tradition that on my birthday, we celebrate both the person who's been alive another year (the birthday boy), and the person who got him there in the first place (the mother). It's a good tradition, and one that the ravages of distance and time have not managed to kill off. Now that my mother is on the other side of the country (and for anyone who's familiar with the sheer size of the USA, will know that it might as well be the other side of the planet), we continue the tradition over the phone, which is just as nice, because there are fewer distractions.

That being said, I'm preemptively making this post, because I know Amma reads this thing, so that in case the unthinkable happens, and I manage to astoundingly bungle what really is my favourite part of my birthday celebration (due to being too tired after work, or not charging the phone, or something else equally annoying and dumb), I will have at the very least made it clear that the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning at 5:30 (after the initial thoughts of "ACK! BATHROOM!") was indeed my mother. However, because she's like three hours behind, I'm not about to wake up the entire house to call her at that ungodly hour. Especially not when my nephew is likely sleeping, and getting woken up by the phone is Not To Be Considered.

It's strange. I've had an inexplicable dread of hitting this particular milestone for a while now. I'm 30. Ugh. Even writing it makes me uneasy. But here it is, and I might as well admit to the old age that I've been cultivating since the age of 5. One of my aunts mentioned (in an amused tone, for the record), ages ago, that I was in equal turns an unabashed young child, and a 75 year old man at the same time. So. Here I am. 30 years old.

I've met (and married and stayed together with) the sort of man who I used to think only existed in sappy romance novels. I've written and had published my first book. I'm working at a place where I enjoy the fruits of my labour, and the challenges excite rather than drag down. I've got some pretty close friends who enjoy spending time with me. I've got a comfortable little home in a city I love dearly. I've managed to get rid of most of my major vices, and have reeled in any that I haven't given up completely (I'm not trying out for sainthood).

There are definitely things that I still want to do, that I still look forward to being able to do. But I've got plenty of time for those. It's not like I'm 30 or something.

Oh wait.

If I'm being perfectly honest with myself, the outpouring of love and good wishes from family (my sister called and left a voicemail at 12:30 AM last night, while I slept, and thereby managed to be the first to wish me, which she promptly followed with an email; her husband emailed shortly after that) really is life-affirming. I love that I inspire good feelings towards me, and that people want me to be happy. I've also gotten some lovely emails from fans who've been around since day one, from the before time when I was just a voice on a podcast, or a few words on the screen.

Thanks to Amma for my birthday, as always. Thanks to all my friends and family and fans who have sent over their lovely words of support and love. Thanks to my angel husband who still somehow enjoys my company. It's a good time to be 30.