It’s February Again, We Must Get Older.

I’ve always hated birthdays.

When I was a kid, I had exactly one birthday party with birthday wrapping paper and a song with the word “birthday” in it sung to me.


The crying was off-the-charts. When asked why exactly I was crying, I managed to shake out a few words between wracking sobs “I-i-i-i-i-i d-d-d-d-d-don’t w-w-w-w-want to g-g-g-g-get old-d-d-d-der!”

And so it went. From then on, people sung me “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and birthday presents had to be wrapped in non-birthday paper. Like newsprint. Or Christmas wrapping. Thankfully, my birthday is in December, so it wasn’t too hard to find alternatives.

My mom had this theory about me as a kid that June-December was when I did most of my growing – “the halves to wholes” theory. That from my half birthday to my birthday I had a rough time of everything. I used to hang onto this theory until I became an adult and it seemed like an about even (in good years) mix of good and bad days that spread roughly evenly across the year, no matter the season (though summer can still fuck itself, especially July).

But one thing has always hit me with regularity: I fucking hate January.

I feel badly about it, since my husband and my mom and my uncle have January birthdays, but it’s really nothing personal. I just don’t like it much. And here in Texas, January means I’m in an allergic haze of existence due to mountain cedar.

January 2015 went by in a blur. Tiny house found, moving, apartment, settling, sick sick sick, endometriosis, pain, tired, uncertain, depression, fatigue, depression, sick sick sick. And then February came. I scheduled a life-changing procedure. And I woke up a little. Made some plans. Started writing again.

I’m due to have surgery next month. It’s out-of-state, for my endometriosis, with a specialist (for my endo sisters, the laparoscopy is wide excision). I’m terrified. Terrified of the painful pre-surgical appointments and invasive vaginal ultrasounds. Terrified that I’ll die on the table from some rare anesthesia-allergy-attack. I’m also excited. For a trip! For hope that within a few months I’ll recover fully and say “Shit, I felt TERRIBLE for the last eleven years. I forgot what it felt like to feel good.” I’m also terrified that I won’t feel different. I’m terrified to hope. I’m terrified to mourn the last seven years since my first unsuccessful, non-specialist surgery. I’m scared of the anger I’ll feel when I realize that someone could have helped me sooner.

But whatever I feel, it’s coming. Soon, soon. For now, we have February and some creativity goals for myself. With hope on the horizon again, I can wake up a little.

Regina Spektor released a song a few years ago called “Jessica.”

Some of the lyrics:

Jessica wake up.
It’s February again.
It’s February again, we must get older, now, so please wake up.
We must get older now, so please wake up.

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8 Responses to It’s February Again, We Must Get Older.

  1. cara says:

    (Wow, your comment form just auto-filled my home address, that was scary!)

    January and February are the worst for me, even though it’s my birthday at the end of January and I kind of love my birthday, it’s still the most interminable, most depressing couple of months. I’m sorry you’ve been having such a crappy time and I hope that February passes quickly. I have everything crossed for your surgery to go spectacularly.

    • Jessica says:

      Hmm…it auto-filled in my husband’s browser as well! For some reason the browser thinks that the comment form is an address box. Weird. I’ll tinker with it.

      January! Blergh. January and July. Awful, awful, awful months. I can’t blame the weather here (we don’t have winter, not really) for January. But I do blame the weather in July (I don’t enjoy hot weather). Both months are just this middling time. No big holidays, super long month. In January, if you made resolutions you’ve already broken them and if you didn’t you’re sitting there wondering why you can’t get your life together enough to make a resolution (buy hyper aware that it wouldn’t matter much anyway; see point 1).

      I hope your crappy time passes quickly as well. Can’t wait to see what France has in store for you, once you finally arrive.

  2. Diane says:

    My very best wishes for a successful surgery and that it will make you feel much better!

  3. Jessica says:

    Ooo fancy new blog theme! Greetings from a twin pit of despair. I had five days last week with almost no hives. It was glorious. I could count the hives on ONE HAND. And then I woke up Friday with huge lips and began erupting in welts and here we are. I look like a science project. Or you know, someone from a super hero comic that just got splashed with radioactive acid. I await my superpowers.

    I basically hate everyone and everything and every month forever.

    I’d say Happy Birthday but instead I’ll just say that you’re an awfully jolly good fellow. And I will cross all my fingers and toes as long as they aren’t swollen and rashed out for your surgery to go super well and not include any rare anesthetic reactions.

    Also I love Regina S. I’m gonna go look up that song. xo

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah I picked this one up from I like it a lot.

      Hives! No. Ugh. Awfully awful awfulness.

      Thanks for the well wishes. I now have to attend to five billion pages of surgery paperwork.

      Regina’s albums are ALL great. I was pretty stoked to have a song with my name in it. Up until now it’s been “Mambo No. 5” and “Jessica” which has no lyrics.

      • Jessica says:

        Oh. Also.

        That is your name, too, of course, so you probably don’t need me to tell you how many songs have Jessica in it.

        I literally just went “What’s very mom’s name, I wonder?” WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME


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