The past few birthdays have been unhappy ones for me. They just felt like another reminder of how fast my life was ticking away. Fat, lonely and with no ambition, time was my enemy. I was so afraid of moving towards the end of my life, which in retrospect made no sense since I didn’t have much of a life to miss in the first place. My life was a series of things I did between fast food meals, and I didn’t like being reminded of how much time had passed.

This birthday was different though. My birthday was about two weeks ago - and even though I didn’t really do much to celebrate it, other than dinner with my family, it was the first birthday in a long time that I enjoyed. It felt good knowing that this is the first birthday in a long time that I knew I would weigh less the next one. That I knew my life would be in a better place next birthday than it is this one. The first time that I felt like I was actually making some progress, and not just desperately trying to maintain my miserable status quo.

Birthdays mean a lot more when your life is not a series of things you do to fill the time between runs to Taco Bell and Wendy’s. I try to think about where I’ll be at next birthday - how much I’ll weigh, where I’ll be living, what I’ll be doing. And for the first time in a long time, I don’t really know. I know what I’d like to be doing, but even if those things haven’t yet come to pass next birthday, I know at the very least, it won’t be exactly the same as the five or six birthdays before it, and that makes me happy.