Pre-Celebration Blues

Pre-Celebration Blues

Reasons why I haven't been excited by my upcoming birthday.
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Every year I feel like a mid-life crisis occurs on my birthday.

The smallest setbacks send my emotions into a doom-and-gloom territory.

Anything from others' birthdays being right before or after mine, to not booking plans exactly when I wanted to, makes me not want to celebrate.

Before my birthday I'm a complete bratty mess. "I want it done NOW!" "Mine! Mine! Mine!" "Now! Now! Now!" Then when I start to see others happily celebrating their birthdays right before my own, I get severely depressed and go through the motions till a few days after my birthday. The rest of the year is dedicated to regret and making plans that again won't go through on my next birthday.

Planning ahead is something I've always lived for, and yet the one thing I cannot follow through on.

I feel like that's one of the things that depresses me about my birthday the most; thinking of all the things I planned for and wanted to accomplish, but yet here comes another year of that desire not being fulfilled.

I notice that the majority of people who don't make plans in life receive all that life has to offer. Good paying jobs, networking opportunities, love, their own houses, cars, endless friendships. Those of us who consciously make plans to get the things others get easily are forever receiving only crumbs when we were working towards the cake.

This makes me want to do a study on if certain personality types are prone to shittier lives. Is there a correlation between those who don't get ahead in life and their birth sign? At what point does one just chuck their life plans and go with the flow like everybody else?

But I digress.

February 1st will be my 37th birthday and already my depression is in full effect. I wake up every day in brat mode and by mid-afternoon, I'm a depressed mess. What's wrong with me? Getting another year older doesn't excite me like it used to.

I looked forward to my 18th birthday because I was FINALLY considered an adult and could legally escape my childhood home and traumas.

Though I don't drink alcohol or dance, my 21st birthday meant I could finally join my friends when they went out to bars and clubs.

At 25, I could finally rent a car so I could travel wherever and whenever I wanted.

However, once I reached my 31st birthday, I had not become a published author like I'd dreamed of becoming since I was a small child. I hadn't received my Bachelor's degree. I wasn't married. I still live paycheck to paycheck. Since then, every birthday has been the current routine of brattiness followed by depression and regret.

So is this it? Since everything I looked forward to didn't happen in my timeframe now every birthday henceforth is like, "Meh. Who cares?"

The few great birthdays I've had was my 25th birthday, my 30th birthday and my 35th birthday.

When I turned 25 I got my first tattoo - despite my fear of needles. I also was completely spoiled by endless female strip dances!

When I turned 30, my friends helped me throw myself a Twilight Saga themed birthday bash! Complete with movie marathon viewings, playing an interactive Twilight Board game, and a surprise customized cake (because two of my friends are custom cake makers - plug for Kake Kingz https://www.facebook.com/kakekingz/!)

When I turned 35, one of my friends helped me arrange to watch a private live lesbian sex show! Took me back to wild days as a teenager and early 20's!

Should I just alternate between being a voyeur at all-girl sexcapades and Twilight saga remembrances for the rest of my life? As fun as those things were, in the grand scheme of my life, partying like that every year feels childish and a bit selfish to me.

I want my birthday to mean more to me than just that one sliver of personal indulgence that I can't get regularly.

I have a great itch to travel, and despite my awful preplanning skills before and throughout, I've managed to visit Columbus, New York City, and Cincinnati multiple times, in addition to traveling to Toledo, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

I have Forks Washington (come on, I'm a Twilight FANATIC - I have to see the place the saga was based!), Washington D.C., Amherst, Massachusetts, Ellis Island, and Paris on my Traveling Bucket List.

I also have to finish getting the second tattoo I have (that I started on my 35th birthday) completed, and get the five more I want.

I want to eat New York Pizza again, eat Chicago's Deep Dish Pizza again, and try every dish offered at Gordough's in Austin, Texas.

Sounds like good goals right? So why am I still not feeling like celebrating?

Cover Image Credit: Kimberly Steele

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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