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You must like me for me

You must like me for me

            You will not believe it, Friend – I’ve had the best birthday ever! It might sound like a silly thing to say, but it’s the truth. And it was the big one, my 30th! You see, it used to be a difficult day for me, not because the number changes, but rather the emotional toll it takes on me. But this year… It was all different.

We can’t make any promises now, can we, babe?
But you can make me a drink

            I feel like I should start with admitting to a mistake, you know? Few weeks back, I negotiated with my mum that she would not be throwing me a big birthday party and instead, I agreed to throw a few smaller parties. 

What a stupid idea it was. I am drained, Friend, I am so freaking drained. I love my family, but they drain me sometimes. But I think I am all done with “parties” and the only thing left is to invite the “rest” for some “cake and coffee”. And you know, Friend, I am conflicted. I understand that people want to celebrate with me, but… Why does it feel like I am losing myself in it? 


Therapy really is brilliant. When my therapist and I spoke about my reluctance to celebrate my birthday, she instantly gave me simple homework: to celebrate it the way I always wanted. To give it a shot, at least. See, as much as I love Yoda, we fundamentally disagree on the “do or do not, there is no try”. 

            Come one, Friend. I am talking all the time, and I didn’t even offer you a cup of tea. Autumn is in full swing, eh? I love it. Finally, my twinkling lights will make more sense. Plus, I bought some new candles and I am excited to give them a go. So, does today calls for a blue teapot?

Dark jeans and your Nikes, look at you
Oh, damn, never seen that color blue

            As the water boils, we both lean on the kitchen counter but your gaze wanders to the fridge. Few things changed, right? You notice the drawing I got from my cousin, and also the postcard with “Almond blossom”, and two Van Gogh magnets next to it. This house is slowly becoming a Van Gogh’s sanctuary! I couldn’t help myself; you know?

I poured the water into the teapot and closed the lid. You also noticed a new mug in my collection – with “Sunflowers”, obviously. My birthday was full of Vincent, you know? It’s beautiful. But let’s start from the beginning. 


I booked the trip to Amsterdam a few months back with my godmother and in the beginning, I was kind of overwhelmed with the happiness I felt in that moment. Buying Lauv concert tickets and booking a visit to Van Gogh’s Museum was a big step. After all, seeing “Sunflowers” in person was my dream.

You hand me the cups, choosing your favorites, with Winnie the Pooh. The tea is almost ready, with ginger, lemon and honey. We clink the cups and retreat to the bedroom. Now, it’s been a minute since I spent an entire day in bed but today seems like the perfect day. Let me tell you about Amsterdam. 

Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it chill that you’re in my head?

            Before we went to Amsterdam, I spent 3 days with my family and it was a treat. Barbecue in the evening, hanging out on the terrace even though it was cold outside. We even went on a safari!!!! I had no idea something like that was possible in Europe, but essentially, we drove through a big park in our own car, and the animals were walking just next to us. 

It was a fun day and the entire stay in Bremerhaven was amazing. I love this city and despite not being there often, it feels like home. But the real treat came on Monday, when my godmother and I drove to Amsterdam, which is 4 hours away. 

Our first stop was, of course, the Van Gogh Museum. I was absolutely overwhelmed, you know? I watch you take a sip of the tea. Is it good? I am still in my Earl Grey mood. Also, for some reason I only drink one coffee a day, so no more afternoon coffees, my Friend! 

            The Museum was wonderful. There is a contemporary exhibit with Pokémon incorporated into Van Gogh’s paintings, and let me tell you – they are THE CUTEST!! And it was/is a beautiful, modern nod towards Vincent’s interest in Japanese culture. But the real deal was the “Sunflowers”. 

Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it too soon to do this yet?

            You noticed the contemplative look on my face, and smiled. It’s hard to explain what it is about these flowers that make me feel so many things: longing, joy, profound nostalgia and melancholy. I guess that’s the thing with art: it means different things to all of us. For me, Van Gogh is… I somewhat relate to his feelings. 

So, standing in front of that painting felt surreal. Beautiful, but surreal and we had to go back to see it again, haha. These “Sunflowers” are pretty sad and harrowing. Yet, there is something so simply compelling about them, you know? Remarkable.

On the other hand, there was the vibrant “Almond Blossom”. As I learnt from eavesdropping (hehe), this painting is cited to be Vincent’s most famous and valuable painting. That information left me stupefied, as honestly? As much as I adore that painting, I would never assume it’s the most valuable one. Nevertheless, my Friend – it is absolutely magnetic. 

I was so happy that I could share what I know about Vincent, his life and work with my godmother – I am glad she got to discover this artsy side of me. And a nerdy side, which she was already aware of (Star Wars, baby). 

            An unforgettable experience, to be honest. And totally worth the trip and all the impossibly ridiculous Dutch things we encountered, including the pronunciation of Vincent’s name. I am sorry, but the whole world says differently and I couldn’t care less that he was born in the Netherlands. Your language is barely acceptable worldwide. 

Third floor on the West Side, me and you
Handsome, you’re a mansion with a view

            We both chuckle at my mean joke. I’m sorry, it’s not nice to joke like that. But it’s all for the good purpose of having a laugh. Amsterdam was super kind and simply amazing to us. Walking around the canals with a tour guide (who gave us so much food, we were stuffed!) and having drinks till the late hours of the night. 

The next day was also filled with art, you know? Since the weather decided to break, we chose to visit the Rijksmuseum (which had one Van Gogh, and a few of Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings). Took us a few good hours to walk through all of the floors, but it was worth it, Friend. 

In the evening, we had this Lauv concert which… Surprisingly, it brought a lot of positive emotions. Don’t get me wrong, Friend – the opportunity to get the tickets was there so I took it, but once I got them… I didn’t think much about it. As we were getting ready, it hit me. Another concert dream turned into a reality! 

Plus, I finally decided to wear the dress which my godmother gave me 6 years ago. It’s a longer story, and seeing your curiosity piqued, I smile. Another time, my Friend. But listen, because here it goes: I liked the way I looked. Progress, eh? 

            Amsterdam was great. Infused with art and good food, great drinks and most importantly – a person I love so deeply. That quality time with her was worth the “pain” of the overnight drive.

Echoes of your footsteps on the stairs
Stay here, honey, I don’t wanna share

            This trip was only the beginning. After much deliberation, I decided to throw a birthday party for my closest friends. As I spoke about it with my therapist, she told me: “Allow yourself to understand that they will come for you. Your friends will be there for you, to celebrate you and your love. Because at the end of the day, that’s how love should be treated”. 

But before she told me that, the party itself caused a bit of anxiety. Mainly because I am not such a great cook, you know? It’s so stressful for me to cook for other people!!! Hey, don’t you dare laugh. I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable in the kitchen. Anyway, with the thought that my friends came together to celebrate me and my life it felt easier. 

I was thinking a lot about the theme of the party and one day it just became clear: TAYLOR SWIFT. So, the Eras Party began to take shape. And you know what I realized? That I don’t have enough chairs. 

My reputation’s never been worse, so
You must like me for me

            But luckily enough, my neighbors brought their own chairs, haha. I go silent for a moment, leaning on the plush bed. You see the polaroid pictures scattered around the room. Oh yeah, I am still absolutely obsessed with them. I mean, look at them! Kseniia was responsible for clicking these and they are absolutely amazing. The entire evening felt like a blur at times, honestly! I usually take so many pictures but that night, I had no time. 

But the biggest surprise was the “guest of honor”. The second I opened the door and saw the cardboard cutout of Harry Styles, I lost my shit. This was such an unexpected, sweet and, well, FREAKING HOT gift!!!! We laughed, looking at the cutout. It’s so perfect, you know?

I mean… HOT

It was such a joyous moment, it made me feel really loved and cherished and… Celebrated. And you know what, Friend? It felt nice. Does that make me an egocentric, awful person? You playfully nudge my arm, a silent assurance that there is nothing wrong in accepting the love I deserve. 

Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it too soon to do this yet?

            The party was fantastic. Ewa made me this amazing birthday cake with the Lover theme (which was her idea completely, she didn’t know it was my “costume” as well). Also, speaking of my outfit, I kind of only now see I blended a few eras: Lover (with the hints of pink and blue), Midnights (fully on “Bejeweled” vibe) and 1989 (with the kind of “Shake it off” cheerleader vibe).

But you know what, I think that’s how brides feel on their wedding day. A freaking blur, and now I have some bits and pieces coming back to me after a while. I go silent for a moment, as if trying to remember more. I can feel your gaze, and I know it so damn well. You can’t remember when was the last time you’ve seen me so happy, right? 

It’s not easy, don’t be fooled by my smile. Work is getting heavier and my anxiety, even though I keep it under somewhat of a control; things tend to slip through the fingers of time. But I am pushing through. It’s going to be worth it at the end of the day, right? 

            My birthday was absolutely fabulous and the love keeps on pouring and pouring, it’s full of Van Gogh and Lego and people just hugging me. Which, just so you know, is amazing. The tea in our hands is almost cold, but it’s okay. I have plenty of Earl Grey, so… I think I am good for autumn and winter. Life already feels a bit lighter, Friend. 

One thought on “You must like me for me

  1. This is what birthdays should look like – happiness, beautiful rainbow of emotions, your friends celebrating you and you feeling so, so loved ???? I hope this will be the first of many wonderful birthdays to come, Love!
    By the way, seeing van Gogh’s works must have been such a rollercoaster, I can only imagine.. But I am so happy for you, nonetheless, embracing the scary part and taking up the challenge. You go girl!!!

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