Today was/is (depending on where one is in the world right now) my birthday. Thank you to my mother and to my father for having and making me.
Now, people at school totally forgot about my birthday, and that’s okay. A friend was even giving me a hard time about details for an upcoming trip while I was in the middle of my birthday lunch at a nice little Nepalese restaurant, and that’s okay, too. I wasn’t looking too forward to all of that.
I have been working on my mental and physical health lately, and one part of that has been going to my gym more often. Instead of once or twice or zero times a week, and only for, perhaps, an hour, I have been going more like five to ten hours a week, attending all sorts of fun classes (boxing to ballet, angels training [a misleading name for the crazy-hard workout that comes with it] to yoga [yes, normal yoga]). The gym is all women, and we all have to have nicknames, so as to create a close-knit space (instead of the formality of Japanese culture and always using last names), so it makes for a really great environment.
That being said, I was really looking forward to getting to my gym today. Dinner with a friend was something great on the list, too, but the gym had the extra excitement of helping out my physical health while I enjoyed its being my birthday.
I knew that some of the ladies knew that today was my birthday, and so I was excited to be going somewhere where I could feel the love, so to speak, for my birthday. Just after I walked in the front door, the lady at the desk wished me a tentative English, “Happy Birthday…?” A huge grin and verbal thanks assured her of the success of her endeavor.
As I was changing for class, I heard some English being practiced in the common area, “How old are you?” So, I suspected I was about to be asked this question when I got into class a few minutes later.
What I did not expect, however, was to walk into my step class of older Japanese ladies, and for them to break into song, singing me “Happy Birthday”. And in English! I actually started tearing up a bit, it was so wonderful. If I had been hoping for some welcoming love here, I certainly found it, I found myself thinking. Essentially, it was perfect.
After class, a number of people kept wishing me a happy birthday and talking to me about this and that. Before the next class began (yoga), I made a point to interrupt the delighted chatter of the older ladies from step class, and to thank them especially for their singing and well-wishes. And I did it all in Japanese, and successfully. They were just so wonderful.
And then they all started asking me how to say the name of a bicycle that has a motor attached to it. Amidst all the Japanese, I declared that I’d have to do some research, because I could only think of electric bicycle and motorized bicycle.
But that’s not quite the point. The point is, I suppose, that step class is amazing – you could do yourself quite well by joining one wholeheartedly today. 🙂
Also, all of my thanks to all who played a part in my coming to be. 🙂
Happy Birthday to me. Watch out, World! 😀