I was supposed to be born on Valentine’s Day. Yes, me -- Ronnie D -- a Valentine’s baby! Just imagine that, being born on Love Day. I imagine it would have socialized me differently. Perhaps I would have been a total love fiend, playing wedding with the Barbie and Ken dolls at Grandma’s house instead of turning my McDonald’s Halloween Happy Meal bucket into a hot tub with a straw, blowing sexy bubbles with my perpetual sighs about what love truly was. Maybe I would have been wrapped up in the fairytale, princess fantasies, just waiting for my Prince Charming to come sweep me off my feet, rather than pursuing men first because I wanted them, and it was silly to simply sit idly by. Maybe Valentine's Day would have meant more to me than next-day, discounted chocolate. Who knows? I can only speculate because I wasn't born on Valentine's Day.
In typical me fashion, the day arrived when I was supposed to go out into the world, and I just decided to stay in instead. I mean, why on earth would anyone rush such things? I had a sweet setup there in the womb -- free rent, free food, personal space, a perfect, not-yet spoiled reputation -- only a silly baby would jump on the birth flume in a hurry. I milked my prenatal agoraphobia for two whole weeks before I finally decided I kept everyone waiting long enough. Of course, also in typical me fashion, my timing was imperfect, and I happened to knock on my mother's uterus during an extremely important episode of Dallas -- no, not the one where JR was shot, but two episodes leading up to it -- so needless to say, despite the contractions and other pre-birth hoopla, my mother decided it was her turn to keep me waiting. She finished watching the entire episode before heading to the hospital. I suppose taking our sweet time runs in the female family line.
So I milked my delivery date by like two whole weeks. I finally came crashing into the world, not on the most romantic day of the year as originally expected, but on March 1st -- National Pig's Day.
Oh, and Self-Injury Awareness Day.
I don't know; all I do know is while the surgeon was waiting for someone to hand him the umbilical scissors, I said, "Don't worry, doc, I got this," then cut the cord myself.
That's me on the left, not long after I finally decided to leave the womb. You can tell, I was already over the whole "going out" thing.
Despite being forced to live in a world I never quite felt I was made for, I grew up pretty excited to know that March 1st was National Pig's Day. I shared this trivia with everyone who was willing to listen. I amassed pig stuff every birthday. I perfected my swine snort. My adolescent bedroom mirror was draped with light-up pig lights, and their pinkish-orangish glow scored my life. To this day, I still don't think I look right without that hue attached to my skin. So yeah, I imagine I may have turned out differently under the sign of love instead of pig, but I'm totally cool with that.
As for Self-Injury Awareness Day, I learned about that when I was much older. Apparently, it's been around for 17 years or more. I'd love to be a champion for others on this day and post pics of how I hurt myself, and then people can tell me on Facebook that I'm brave, and I can feel better and finally be a whole human being who doesn't hurt themselves physically or emotionally ever again, you know, like a true Valentine's baby. But I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm gonna continue bleeding out on the regular during corporate meetings while my coworkers pretend there's nothing unusual about the appearance of blood at 8am or a grown-ass woman sucking her fingers like she's a 3 year-old or the protagonist in an amateur porn flick. To be completely honest, I think that in and of itself is even braver. In fact, I'm gonna wow-like myself for that.
Awww man, I just got blood on the keyboard . . .
We all hurt ourselves in one way or another, and we need to be vigilant. Even more intrusive than things that can cut the skin are those moments of automatic thoughts, the ones that creep up as if programmed in every cell of our beings to tell us that we're worthless, broken, pieces of shit. Pushing these thoughts away can be just as difficult as remembering you shouldn't harm your body. So try something today, and I'll try it with you. I'm going to celebrate the fact that I'm still alive, that I've made it here to National Pig's Day 2017 despite everything that's transpired during my years outside the womb, and I'm going to tell that voice to shut up every time it creeps in. Most importantly, I'm going to set my sights on yet another breakthrough year where I get better and better -- a year where every, single day I'm getting closer and closer to being ME, surrounded by the things that make me flourish, rather than hide. And if we all keep doing this, we'll all remember how precious our flesh is, how precious our minds, and one day, maybe one day, we'll all stop hurting ourselves and take back every moment of our fleeting lives.
But until then, I'll continue to fill myself with caffeine and carbohydrates like the little birthday piggy I am.
In Case You Were Wondering . . .
Sometimes Ronnie D writes funny stuff. Sometimes she writes desperate teenage prose. Most times she just slams her feeble, little woman-hand onto the keyboard in an attempt to feel something, anything.