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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I'm Not Feelin' 22, But I'll Make The Most Of It

The reality of becoming another year older and the stress that it may bring.

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Birthdays are all about being the center of attention, - birthday wishes from friends and family, and celebrating another milestone in your life. People go out of their way to buy party favors, set up parties, and buy gifts just to make someone feel special on their birthday. However, some people dread their special day because of anxiety and depression. This past weekend was my 22ndbirthday, and although I'm usually excited for my birthday, this was the birthday I had been dreading.

Birthdays are inevitable. Once you reach past the age of 21, everything seems to go downhill, or at least I think so. Once I realized I was going to be 22 last Sunday, I realized the new responsibilities and norms that come with turning this age. I am a Junior at the University of Arizona, should be a senior, and most of my friends are younger than me. With most of my friends graduating this year at the age of 22, I can't help but feel bad that I will be graduating at the age of 23. After being at a large university for three years, I have felt "behind" because of my age and academic standing. Being the oldest of my friends brings a sense of anxiety out in me and pressure that I should be graduated by now.

Another issue I have with birthdays at this age is the expectation of certain milestones that I have not accomplished yet. With social media being such a large part of our society today, seeing so many different people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posting pictures of what they are doing every second of the day, it's hard not to feel bad if you are not up to par with others lives. Some people are having babies, while others are going to medical school, where do I fit in?

Although birthdays bring some sense of negativity to me, I think that they should be celebrated in a positive light. My best friend, Colleen, knew I was feeling down about my birthday and wanted to help me feel better about turning the big 2-2. She bought balloons, silly string, and letter banners just to decorate our apartment to make me feel excited about the day. She bought me the most unique presents that only a best friend would know I would have wanted. At the end of the day, we went to my favorite restaurant and with the help of Colleen, my day had turned around.

While you may catch the birthday blues at some point in your lifetime, there are ways to change your attitude on the day. You may hear from someone from the past wishing you a happy birthday that can make you smile, or receive a gift from a family or friend that you had your eye on in the store and they knew you had to have it. Don't compare yourself to others when it comes to birthday plans, live the day how you would like and spend it with the people that matter most to you.

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