Happy Birthday

Dear Yuri,

I am lying in bed listening to the sounds of rain. It’s my 20th birthday today.

I am blessed with gorgeous parents and brother who have made today as special as they possibly can, and a best friend and cousins who have made me feel amazing, yet I still feel odd. I couldn’t celebrate with more than 5 people. As grateful as I am, we are reversing our restrictions, I miss normality. At the restaurant tonight, our small group were the only ones dining in; completely missing the sounds of chatter and absentminded conversations.

I look the sounds of bellyaching laughter and seeing happy couples for granted. Bustling bars and crazy car parks seemed like a nuisance prior to 2020, but now I miss it. I miss getting hugs from my friends, I miss intimate moments, I miss the touch of others.

I worried about the small things and sweat the small stuff. Anxious about how people may perceive me. Anxious about looking too big. Anxious about people not liking me. I’ve come to terms with this and accepted it as who I am.

I am learning to be happy within me and being content with being alone. I am starting to feel empowered Yuri, and I feel as if I have found my silver lining.

Erin, Brisbane, Australia

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