I freaking love birthdays. I used to think they were pointless. It seems like people just using it as another excuse to be the centre of attention. Parents use it to throw party’s for their 1 year olds that won’t remember so that they, in turn, get attention. Then eventually, those 1 year olds turn 21 and dress up in their badges and sashes and get free shots. Boys are a different version of tragic. They go out in big groups and use it as an excuse to chat up every girl they see or force the poor birthday person to chug ridiculous drinks. And then there’s the whole present thing. I don’t like presents. Not for birthdays or Christmas anyway. I like random, “I was just thinking of you” presents, but the forced participation of finding something suitable on a deadline just seems like another obligation I’m happy to shed. So, yeah, on the surface birthdays all seems like a bullshit waste of time.
The thing is, when do we ever just get a chance to celebrate ourselves? Birthdays aren’t an achievement, you don’t have to do anything special to have one, just pass another year. They are useful markers to remember how far you’ve come over the last year and acknowledge all the things that happened but that’s about it. Still, we get cake and candles and presents and people sing your name! It’s about the only time we get to do it just because. I wish everyone could learn to take a little bit of that kind of celebration into their every day lives more. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend eating cake every day, that seems unhealthy, but having people around you who you love, that are able to celebrate your little successes every day is important.
I do think it’s important to be able to congratulate ourselves, but it’s nice to have a pat on the back sometimes too. Self definition is key to healthy relationships, but so is having an impact on the other person. To hear that someone’s proud of who you are and be excited by your achievements is such a good feeling. Sure, it’s nice to have people to go to when things are bad, but having people that you want to share great things with is awesome. Having friends that don’t let competition or comparison get in the way of feeling happy for you is the most amazing feeling. It feels really true and honest and that’s the feeling I get on my birthday. When people make the effort to just come hang out, they bring a smile and a hug and maybe a bottle (a gift I will never turn away), it honestly makes me feel so special and happy. It makes me feel like I do have an impact. I’ve even got better at not being awkward and crying when people sing at me. That’s how I want to make other people feel (the good stuff, not the awkward singing part). I want the people in my life to know that they are special and important and loved every single day. Plus, I really like cake. My half birthday is November 20th. Do you think I can get away with celebrating that too?