How (not) to celebrate your 30th birthday

My 30 birthday started horrible. I got a nice present yesterday; a really, really nice one: they cut off my electricity because of the unpaid bills. “Unpaid” is an overstatement: I do pay regularly, just not the full amount. (It’s not that I don’t want to… I don’t have enough money to pay). They are relatively tolerant, that is, if you pay at least a small amount when they send you a warning. But I never received the warning, because my postman sucks and refuses to do his job.

So, there I was, no electricity, and panicking. So I called my mother and begged her to pay the bill with her credit card. She got pissed, but went with it. *

* For my international ( = non-Balkan readers): Parents supporting their kids well into their 30s is a normal thing here. Everybody does that. Old people have the most stable income (pension), while people who work… Not so much. So it’s not a rare thing for a person to support her child (who is married) and her grandchildren.

My mother, however… Is specific. She is quite lonely (she has virtually no friends), so she can get possessive and passive-aggressive. To be dependent on her is not a fun thing.

So, I am broke now. Well, I am always broke, but now even more; I am so broke I can’t afford to invite a few friends over for drinks and a cake.

But I digress. After I got the money (more money than I even had with me), and after I gave all of it to those who shall not be named (but work for this rotten, twisted country), I went home. They promised to turn the electricity on today, which meant one night with candlelight. The problem was, I had no candles. So I’ve spent good amount of time looking for one.

Then I got back at my flat, only to discover that the freezer broke. The ice melted, only to expose a tiny hole (that I didn’t know existed). The hole produced a threatening, hissing sound, probably due to freon (or some shit) coming out. I suck at chemistry so I had no idea whether that crap is a) toxic, b) flammable, so it scared the shit out of me. I had to take that crap out of my place.

So my husband and I did it. I am short and weak, and the doctor warned him against lifting heavy things, but there was no way I’d let that thing stay in my flat. So we tried to move it (as heavy as it was), only to realize the cable stuck somewhere behind it, in the total darkness. So I had to take the knife and cut the cable (still in darkness!) to move the fucking thing. While I was doing it I realized how absurd the whole thing was. But it wasn’t funny.

I’ll spare you the details of carrying the freezer to the elevator, and then carrying it across the street to toss it, and me whining in pain because the fucking thing was so heavy. And then getting back to the apartment and carrying the wooden box that the freezer stood on. And then trying to wash yourself, in total darkness.

It was midnight by then, and my birthday officially started. I got a text message from Iva , and I couldn’t answer. It was all surreal somehow.

I woke up this morning with a sharp pain in my chest. I know that feeling: it’s how my body reacts to stress. Another common symptom is not being able to eat (which is not a bad thing, since I’m broke), and random periods.

So, that’s it, I guess. I was really looking forward to my 30th birthday. I wanted to relax a bit, and do nothing, and stop worrying for a change. And now it will take me days to recover from this.

The picture posted here was taken by Iva about a week ago. I don’t feel like I’m 30, and then again, I do. People say I don’t look 30 (the only “problematic” thing are dark circles under my eyes, but it’s not due to age, but glasses: I’ve always had them and hated them).

All in all, that’s it, I guess. My relaxation will have to wait. Thanks for reading. A good thing about writing something bad down (which I rarely do, btw) is the fact it makes it seem less real. (At least after a while).

20 thoughts on “How (not) to celebrate your 30th birthday

  1. Mariana

    I’m really really sorry that your 30th birthday didn’t work out well. I wish I could do something, help you in a concrete way. But you are in my thoughts and prayers, as I said earlier today in that e-mail.

  2. Mira

    Thank you.

    Well, it does suck. It’s not just the birthday, though I did want it to be nice and relaxing; it’s… everything. I am sick of being broke and tired and humiliated by my country and the system.

    I know I am not the only one (there are millions of people; that’s how it goes here), but I am sick of it. And when I say “sick”, I don’t mean “angry”. I am really tired and I don’t know what to do.

    My hair is getting gray and I feel tired and anxious. I wonder if this will leave consequences. I already have panic attacks.

    Ok, the way I wrote this make it seem I am a 100% pessimist. I don’t think I am: I am able to lose myself in escapism. Which helps, sure it does, but reaching for imaginary things to help you is never the best thing, right?

    Still, it DOES help. In my case, it’s writing.

  3. Mira

    Another photo taken by Iva:

    The ones with glasses seem to be better, because glasses hide dark circles under my eyes. But I also like photos without glasses because my eyes look bigger. (I am vain, after all)

  4. Alee

    Oh, I feel terrible that your birthday was terrible. :( Birthdays should always be nice, or at least neutral.

    You do look older in the picture with glasses. Hmmm, maybe about 16 or 17? ;)

    And you look gorgeous in the second picture — I can really see your face. You look intelligent! And I don’t see any dark circles. So at least, if you’re broke, you’re still a cute broke person?

  5. Mira


    Oh, I feel terrible that your birthday was terrible. :( Birthdays should always be nice, or at least neutral.

    I know! It’s not fair! I remember I failed a test ten minutes after I turned 17. Oh, and we had electricity problems back at my husband’s 30th birthday last year, so. I just want to relax, that’s all.

    You do look older in the picture with glasses. Hmmm, maybe about 16 or 17? ;)

    No, I look younger, because glasses hide dark circles. Withtout the glasses (and without covering the circles I look almost 40). I have this circles since… forever. It’s because of the glasses, I think.

    Facebook is full of unflattering photos of me. Two examples:

    But I never go out without my glasses, so I don’t have to worry about covering those circles. I’d love to get rid of them, though.

    And you look gorgeous in the second picture — I can really see your face. You look intelligent!

    Thanks! I think I’m photogenic.


    lol Thanks! But I am 30. ;)

  6. Mariana

    You don’t look like 30. With or withour glasses. =) I liked those pictures and I liked one you posted on Tumblr once. I think Iva shot that one too.

  7. Alee

    You don’t look like 30. With or withour glasses.”

    This. You can’t convince me you’re over teenage.

  8. Mira

    Well, I don’t like to post them online. But there are many on Facebook. Can you see them, Mariana? (Maybe I blocekd that feature on Facebook).


    People give me 23-25. But those are people who know I graduated from an university. I don’t know what people who know nothing about me think. :P

  9. Serpentus

    Happy Birthday! Or, as I believe in your language…sretan rojendan! (Hope I spelled it right.)

    A good way to maintain a youthful look is to simply exercise and avoid sunlight and stress.

    BTW, you look like a hippie in your picture. I never noticed you had long hair.

  10. SW6

    hmm, Happy Birthday anyway!! :)

    Did you ever get around to taking the I just did it. It is so unsophisticated and very P.C. I don’t think it’s a valid test at all, no difficult emotional questions. I’m askin you cause I saw an old comment you made at abagond’s on Dave Myers.

  11. Mira



    BTW, you look like a hippie in your picture. I never noticed you had long hair.

    I don’t cut or style my hair.


    Thank you.

    Did you ever get around to taking the

    No. It’s for the Americans only (unless you want to fake a zip code, but I suspect the test itself is targeted to Americans only).

    I’ve taken Implicit Association Test, and I believe I talked about that one back at Abagond’s.

    (The test is Race IAT)

  12. Jacqueline

    That is so sad this is all happening at a milestone birthday! I wish there was something I could do, but can only send you my love and good vibes. There are a lot of parents who are supporting their adult children in Canada and the U.S.

    I’m a bit vain, too. I don’t like having my photo taken with my glasses on. My hair is dyed red which is a lot better than trying to dye it closer to the grey and white!

    Oh, and you don’t look 30!

  13. Mira


    Thanks for your kind word. I got really upset by this whole thing, but honestly, my country is in a total mess, so these sort of things are reality for many people.

    I didn’t know about parents supporting their kids… Well, I thought it existed, but is reserved for “losers” (I mean, anybody who is supported by their parents is seen as a loser).

    I don’t like photos with the glasses on because of the lens flare, and plus, glasses make my eyes seem smaller (and they aren’t big to begin with). That being said, I really hate dark circles under my eyes so the glasses usually stay.

  14. changingmoods

    I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you on your birthday. Just because the day’s passed doesn’t mean you still can’t celebrate it when things start looking up.

    My 30th’s coming up too, and I can relate to being mistaken for a teenager. I was carded, for the first time, for an R-rated movie a few months back. I don’t remember ever being carded for an R-rated movie when I actually was 17! Imagine that.

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