Happy birthday both to me for tomorrow and to this wonderful project! We have been through a lot this year and even from our first day together I knew this will be an amazing adventure for me. I designed the project to start on my birthday because for me a whole year is not the one written in the calendar, but the one that passes over me, starting from the day I was born. My birthday has always been really important to me and although for almost five years now I stopped celebrating the old fashion way, my birthday will always be a very important day in my life. Not because of the presents or the attention, but because this is the day that reminds me that I am here with a purpose: my own.
Last year I celebrated my birthday into a beautiful cemetery that soon became one of my favorite places in Florence to have coffee at, to breath in the air or to read the pieces of my felow writers from time to time. From then on the adventure began and I encountered obstacles every step of the way. Day 4 for example was like a warning sign for all the closed gates I was about to knock on and I must admit I never even imagined what I was going to face while writing for this project. It all started as a joke, as a way for me to develop a certain discipline and some organizing skills. Many people around me warned me about this being a difficult journey, sometimes an almost impossible one, but I refused to listen and I wrote that first post with fear and happiness in my fingers. Along the way I introduced you to my friends, my daughter, my better half and even my cat. I shared my pain and my depressions, my way to love and my happiness, my writings and my dreams, my vision of motherhood. I wrote under the influence of morphine, from the hospital bed, too many times from the emergency room and while having to make difficult decisions. I wanted to cheat so many times that I lost count, but I somehow managed to stay true to the path I chose, no matter what it cost me that day. I managed to disguise my feelings sometimes under beautiful metaphors, metaphors that helped me move on and not give up just because my soul was exploding or my day was so horrible that I couldn’t have handled to write about it.
I learnt a lot from this experience and while all of this started out as a joke and let’s say a childish challenge, I would never advise someone to start a project like this in that way. You never know what kind of joys or pain you will face during the next year and if you want to commit to something like this, you should always ask yourself how well do you know yourself in order to let other people know you? This project did much more than just discipline me and make me write everyday, this project has killed me, revived me and then break me again so I could only gather the good pieces of the puzzle to make myself a whole again. This project has introduced me to beautiful people who inspired me to be more than I could be. This project was a piece of my soul for 365 days and it truly served its purpose on more levels than I could ever explain.
If last year my birthday caught me in the cemetery, this year I will spend my day at work and maybe sharing a cappuccino and a piece of cake with my beautiful family in the morning. I will think about the seaside, where I used to spend my every birthday since being on Mars and make a wish upon a chosen star when I get home at midnight.
Thank you all for standing by me every step of the way, supporting me and sometimes giving me a call or sending me messages when you sensed that my words were more than it met the eye. Thank you for reading almost everyday, even on those days when nothing made sense and everything seemed questionable. This year has been both horrible and incredibly beautiful in the same time and writing here everyday was a small joy in some dark and what felt like empty days. Most of all with each day that I shared with you, I found myself on a brand new path of self-discovery, one that I am sure I couldn’t have found otherwise.
Happy birthday dear project and farewell! You have been one of my closest friends, my worst enemy and my consciousness throughout this whole year.
P.S. Tonight as I was riding the bus home, I realized I have ended the project having drinks with the same people that were with me a year ago: my writers group and my family. Beautiful ending! I couldn’t have possibly asked for more than that! Thanks guys!