Every year, my birthday reveals something about myself to me. With every year I get older, I learn more about myself. Its easy to feel like you know yourself pretty well, but life keeps surprising you.
For the first few years of my life, my birthdays were special. We’d have a huge party and invite my friends and have a lot of fun! But then I entered my teens, and I felt I was too old to be celebrating my birthdays. I’d meet my friends and get a few gifts, but nothing very special. My family would wish me and we’d all spend some time together. They’d get me new clothes every year, and I’d wear them and parade around or them. Then I’d go study, In fact, on my 18th birthday, I was writing SAT exams! I stopped setting much stock by birthdays.
Then I moved out, went to university and met a new set of friends. And they showed me birthdays could be more amazing if I let them be. They surprised me ever year, taking me out to dinner, taking me bowling, taking me on a road trip and letting me spend loads of time in a museum! Not to mention the really thoughtful gifts they all gave me. But I really enjoyed just spending time with them for an evening, forgetting everything and just laughing and losing myself in the moment.
Today, they are in another city and I’ve moved, chasing my dreams. It felt really weird, to not have my family or my friends near me on my birthday. I went through my daily routine and then sat bemoaning how alone I felt on my birthday. But then, I realized something. My birthday is me celebrating the day I was given the gift of life! My friends made it special for me always. Now I had to make it special for me.
I decided to have a me day. Do everything I liked to do. I made myself a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner and hung it in my room. I cooked my favorite dishes while listening to my favorite tunes. Then I sat and binge-watched a soap opera, not caring about any work I had to do. I prayed, thanking God for everything he has given me. I spoke with my family and my friends, sitting in bed. I grinned every time someone sent me a birthday wish. My best friends, my family, my distant cousins, my acquaintances. And I was ecstatic!!
Every year, it was the wishes from everyone I knew, that made my day really special. My friends’ surprises was the cherry on the top. Just knowing that there are people out there who care about me, who are happy that I am there in this world, people who have influenced my life and people whose life I’ve influenced….everything made me very happy. I spent my day relaxing in bed, just basking in the wishes and blessings I received, all the love I got.
Now birthdays have a new meaning for me. Its the day to reconnect with myself, to realize that I mean something to other people and to hope that I can always have that connection with others. I don’t need to go partying or get presents. My birthday is for me to enjoy, to feel happy with myself, to love myself. But the occasional outing with friends is always welcome! Happy Birthday to me!!!