There are few instances I would take life advice from a sitcom, this is one of those instances. As Phil Dunphy from Modern Family once said, "The key to a good birthday is low expectations".
So disheartening, yet so true. Birthdays have always been so exciting for me, I was that girl who always wanted a "birth week" as opposed to just one day. The day after my birthday ended, I would count down the days till my next. Sometimes, even cry because I had waited so long for something that was over. I had this mentality for a while. This sort of changed as I got older.
I remember it was my junior year of high school, my 17th birthday, and nobody seemed to even bat an eye. I wasn't panicked or mad, but more upset. I was completely longing for the attention of others, silently begging them to utter just two celebratory words to me. I was so deeply sad, and went over the reasons why people would disregard me. My anxiety led me down a road of a lot of self-loathing all due to the feeling that my birthday was ignored. The truth is no one was blatantly ignoring me, and also that it was time to not expect the world from others.
It came surprisingly easily. I slowly my attention to other's special days or events. I love giving to my friends and being the one who makes their birthday a huge deal. I believe I found content in my own life, with my own celebrations and my own loved ones. It is an immature way of thought to only focus on what others can do for us, and I had to grow out of it someday and some way. In other words, don't get your hopes up and you'll never be disappointed.
What Phil Dunphy said does at first sound a bit bitter, but as it unravels, it really is more enlightening than anything else. It does not mean that no one is giving you enough, but to be humble and not expect the world from others, on a birthday or any day. I have learned that lesson on many other days than just my birthday. There are some people you would drop anything for, and you realize they would not do the same for you.
Things feel much more beautiful and gracious when they are unexpected.