26, in many traditions, is a loaded and complicated number.
In Numerology, the number 26 adds up to the number 8, which is a number often associated with being hard-working, ambitious and capable of leadership, yet strangely marked by a fatalistic pattern, as if something were conspiring to place obstacles at the feet of anyone marked by the number 8.
Perhaps this is why these people are born so adept and industrious: they must pick themselves up again and again. They must listen to their intuition or they might be lost.
This number also carries the dualistic, community-minded, artistic and emotionally intuitive influences of 2 and 6.
If we were to assign numbers to each letter of the English alphabet, the combined value of GOD would be 26.
In the Bible, the 26th generation to walk the earth was led into Israel by Moses and were chosen to receive sacred texts.
The number 26th is said to be a number of karmic fate, cause-and-effect. As many parables and crocheted wall hangings would remind us, "You Reap What You Sow".
I am 26 today and I was born on the 26th day of November. I sow and I shall reap.
This year my birthday falls on Thanksgiving, a day that, for me, is marked by abundance and conflict; abundance with its piles of food, illustrious table settings and crowds of people coming together, conflict due to its origins, due to its deep worship of consumerism, due to the stark contrast to those who do not have.
This year my mother picked me up at the airport and said, "For your birthday we extended your health insurance."
Straightforward, nothing flashy. Logic and practicality driven by compassion: this sums up what I think 26 will be all about.
This year, I want to learn to be industrious, constant, and slow, so I can stop looking at all the places where procrastination marred my efforts.
This year, I want to be my most ethical self.
This year, I will not allow myself so much pain over the unethical things that happen in this world, rendering me sad, immobile.
This year, I come to realize that hope is not something someone else can fully give me nor needs concrete results in order to be realized. Hope is a thing in and of itself.
This year, I want to be seen.
This year, I will hide nothing of myself.
This year, I will let nothing deprive me of joy.
This year, I will think logically and put plans into place and all the while release myself from attachment that anything will become what I tried to fashion into being.
This year, I will allow myself to be as powerful as I am.
This year, I will aim for results on the earth and in the recesses of the heart.
This year, I will ask for help.
This year, I will not assume anyone will think I'm crazy.
This year, if anyone thinks I'm crazy, I will not care.
I am here, in a velvet dress, waiting for my family. There is a meal being laid out on the tables on our nicest serving plates. There are two turkeys and a pile of beer and an endless universe of casseroles.
Some of the people in my family have not seen me in years and know very little about me, and suddenly I feel no need to reserve any of the parts of me that feel essential for the sake of politeness, of comfortable exchanges, of a "nice time". They will arrive soon. I will show them kindness.
I hope I never lose this feeling,
I'm coming out as myself. Happy birthday to me.
Photo Credit: Chris Carlone