Saturday, 22 October 2011

It's my birthday & I'll cry if I want to (well, tomorrow is...)

I got to thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot this week. And I don’t think I’m alone in some of the thoughts I tend to get around my birthday.

Wow, that sounds dramatic.

But, I always used to think, ‘how can anyone get miserable around their birthday?’ It’s a day that is yours, for you; a day of celebration where you get presents and get treats and it should be fun. Now, I think I’m getting to THAT age where everything just seems a bit gloomy and instead of seeing your birthday as something to celebrate, you kind of sort to view it as a benchmark for all your shortcomings and everything you haven’t achieved by that age.

So, as my birthday approaches (tomorrow) I have tried to see some of the positives, whilst looking out for other popular opinion that might compare with mine. I hit the nail on the head with one opinion I came across: it’s all about the expectations and what’s expected of you and what you expect of yourself. And now were all growing up, why can’t we just sit back and enjoy that? Why can’t I just let my hair down and party and enjoy the day?

It seems that over the past few years – probably much worse since having finished uni – that I have become rather emotional around birthday time. It doesn’t seem special anymore or happy or something to be celebrated. There’s no party and friends are scattered all over the place.

A good friend of mine told me that this birthday (he’s just turned 25 also) will be a contemplative one, a reflective one and that, quite frankly, it can be a bit dreadful if you really dwell on it all too much. So, I am going to try and not be so miserable… It doesn’t help that I used to be a drama student for many years and I would consider myself a bit of an extremist and someone who thinks far too much about literally everything. I was also born on the cusp (Oct. 23rd) between Libra – well balanced – and Scorpio – a sting in the tail!

I guess I have to see this milestone as a positive and use it to propel myself forward in some sort of career with a definite purpose. I know that’s what I am missing and lacking and that is why I’m probably so sad at this birthday, because I have achieved random things, but I haven’t achieved my independence or a stable direction or a good job.

Other silly things that shouldn’t bother you, but that serve to exasperate the feelings of sadness on your birthday:

1.) Its only Twitter & facebook, but if someone doesn’t make the effort to wish you happy birthday and you notice it, it can really piss you off

2.) You’re a bit of a perfectionist and you want the day to be memorable and amazing and then you come to the realisation that it’s not going to be.

3.) All your best friends live so far away and you’d give anything to have a good old fashioned party with them

4.) As you’ve gotten older, the family don’t really seem to care so much and make much less effort…you still want the celebrations and all-consuming importance that you had as a child.

5.) You dwell on all the things you haven’t done and look around at similar people your age and compare yourself to them and what they might have achieved that you want to achieve.

Reasons to man-up and stop crying

1.) It’s just a day. It is just one day out of the year – how can it make you feel that miserable. Smile, be happy and make the most of it.

2.) You have built yourself up for any disappointment and therefore should know what to expect, so hopefully it can’t be nearly as bad as you think it might be…?

3.) In the future, when you do have a good job and more independence and friends are more accessible, you can look back at this with your new-found 'wiseness' and laugh about how silly it all was to have felt so sad.

4.) It is mandatory to eat some sort of cake…lots of cake…so there :)

Wow. I really cannot believe it has been FOUR whole years since my Tim Burton themed birthday party, where I dressed up as the corpse bride and got ridiculously drunk and tripped over my wedding dress :) It is such a long time ago now.

Anyway, I intend to banish this sadness, use this blog entry as a therapeutic rambling and have a good day…hopefully :) I will raise a glass to tomorrow > still jealous of all my fellow runners out there doing all the cool marathons though ;-)

And to all you ‘older’ and wiser people out there reading this…Shhhh, I know, I know, you were all young once too :)

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