The Problem with Birthdays
Prompt: How do you feel about celebrating your birthday?
I don’t like to celebrate my birthday, because most often, I don’t do what I really want to do. I’m such a people-pleaser that I try to do things other people will enjoy and not just do what I want to, even though it’s the one day of the year when it’s OK to be totally selfish with your time and your day.
I remember always wanting to go see bands and live music on past birthdays, but never doing so because my friends or cousins my age weren’t into it. Meanwhile when they would go to clubs I hated on their birthdays, I always attended even though I was miserable and dying to be anywhere else.
My birthday is sort of like New Year’s, in which I hardly ever spend it doing what I want to do and no one really knows how to celebrate it with me since I’m not a partier anymore. The last real birthday party I had was when I turned 30 and my family threw a surprise birthday party for me, but I think it was because I had hinted to my boyfriend at the time that I wanted one. Before that, I had a pretty big birthday celebration when I turned 25. I was also celebrating that year because it was my first year living on my own, having recently moved out of my parent’s home.
My birthday is coming up on July 10 and I have no idea how to celebrate it. I may go see Shakespeare in the Park, a performance of Twelfth Night, and hopefully the weather cooperates. It’s a weird time in my life when things are not going the way I want them to, so that makes the idea of my birthday an even tougher pill to swallow.
Past birthdays were spent on trips with my boyfriend who I’m no longer with. My family suggested taking me to Point Pleasant for a few days but I can’t be in the sun because I never get a tan, my skin turns red, and gets itchy and extremely irritated and uncomfortable, so I tend to stay away from beaches.
I kind of wish I could let my birthday pass this year with little fanfare. I’ll be turning 34, and I am no closer to figuring out what I should be doing with my life, if I will ever have someone want to be my partner in life, and if I will ever find purpose/work that I know I’m meant to be doing. I will have to keep exploring and hopefully I will come to some answers and conclusions soon.
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