This year, I turned 23.
I spent the day in Cold Spring, NY, alone, and laid in the shade in a cemetery.
The day I turned 22, I took a train to New Haven, CT, with five of my best friends, where we drank gin and tonics and talked about happiness and sadness.
The day I turned 21, I had dinner with a friend from high school, who promptly took my bar-hopping and promptly lost her virginity to a British soldier.
The day I turned 20, my friends hosted a party in their dorm, replete with fake Hooters t-shirts and plenty of alcohol.
The day I turned 19, my friends took my to Hooters. We had blow-job shots.
The day I turned 18 was the day of my Senior Prom. I had sex with my boyfriend in the woods and my friends decorated their dorm room with candy and streamers.
The day I turned 17, my mother sent a crown to the stage manager of the production of Chicago I was in. I was forced to wear it, even through dance call.
The day I turned 16, I thought I might have a replacement quinceanera (which is for 15 year olds, and Latinas), but I didn’t.
The day I turned 15, I was drooling over the fact that I’d spend the entire summer away from home, doing theatre.
The day I turned 14, I realized that I would have to change schools.
The day I turned 13, I landed in the U.S. after spending a month in Italy with my parents, sister, and grandmother.
The day I turned 12, my parents gave me a matching set of a bird t-shirt and hat, which I wore. Together.
The day I turned 11, I dressed up as a gypsy and my friends came over to solve a “murder mystery.”
And on the day I was born through the day I turned 10, I honestly can’t remember but I KNOW that I was surrounded by wonder and I was lucky.
I really thought I’d be better at remembering. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the last twenty-three years have been a gift.
And today, the day after my birthday, I played the goddamn Nurse in the ridiculously demanding Romeo and Juliet scene following Tybalt’s death, and I was the epitome of disaster and it. was. great.
And although the days matter less than the moments within them… these last twenty-three April twenty-ninths have been some of the best days of my life.