It’s almost 10:40 PM on Friday, January 19; a little over an hour before my birthday is officially a thing. I’ve come to realize that I’ve become more and more cynical about this day as the years have passed, for a number of reasons. I’ve felt like no one really cares, ever since the time someone who used to be really close to me forgot about it and I pretended it didn’t bother me. My birthday used to feel like such a big deal when I was a kid. Nothing will ever top my quinceneta, except for my wedding. Lol. I remember being so excited about it, and feeling so special. I’m not sure why, but seeing other people I know celebrating the same birthday kind of feels like it’s not really my day. I don’t feel special at all. In fact, thinking about my birthday always makes me feel kind of sad, because no one has really gone out of their way to make me feel otherwise in the recent years. But I know that it doesn’t matter if people go the extra mile or not, because those who care will let you know in their own way. And I don’t know, maybe it’s all in my head, because I know people care, and I know I should celebrate life. It’s just been easier to pretend on the surface that it’s no big deal than to dig deeper, uncover the root of my cynicism(since anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a cynical type of gal), and confront it. But you know what? It’s 2018, so I’ve decided to move on from the past and change my attitude about January 20, because even though I’m not completely convinced yet and writing this is making my heart hurt thinking about the birthdays I’ve wasted locked up in sad negative memories and thoughts, I matter, and I’m lucky to be alive. These are the ten reasons why I believe my birthday matters, and yours does, too.
- It’s the day I was born. I know, simple. But it’s true. My birthday is the day I came into this world. And I don’t know about yu, but I feel so blessed and lucky to be alive.
- I’m special. Cheesy, right? But it’s true. Seven billion people in the world, but no human is exactly the same as another. My personality is unique to me. My traits, my talents, my purpose, my passion are different. My contribution to the world is unique, because my spirit is mine alone. There is no other me. That deserves recognition.
- There are 365 days in a year, and one of them is mine. My birthday is the only day that I can claim as my own. It’s the one day I can celebrate me and put myself first. I never do that, so… I need to not take it for granted.
- It’s all about the love. I mean, really. I wouldn’t be who I am without those who love and support me. The fact that they all take the time to express that and celebrate my life with me on my birthday is truly special, and those memories and their words will stick with me through the tough times when I really need a pick-me-up.
- Free stuff. This one made me chuckle a little as I was typing it, but it’s true. I’m a college student, so I live for free stuff, especially food.
- Reflection. Not only is my birthday a day for celebration, but it is also a day to reflect on all that I’ve been through, and everything I’ve accomplished in the past year. How many people can say they studied in Valencia and visited Barcelona and London when they were nineteen,? Yeah, probably not tons. I made it through my second half of freshmen year, a summer of hard work, and a fall of change and growth. That’s pretty awesome. And thinking about all that makes me want to do even more for as long as I am twenty and beyond. Okay, that was almost a Buzz Lightyear reference. I’m a dork, sorry. Hahaha!
- Fun. This one sort of falls under the umbrella of celebration, but it’s an important reason to be happy about my birthday. Being an adult can be rough at times. I’m a five-year-old at heart, but sometimes even I get caught up in life’s every day routine craziness and I forget what having fun feels like. My birthday is the one day I can put all work aside and just enjoy myself. Whether it’s turning off my phone and sleeping without being disturbed, writing music/recording covers, or going to lunch with my family and having a dinner date with my boyfriend which is what I’m doing this year. I can do what I enjoy with those I love, or just by myself, with no worries and no work. I can just let it go. Akuna matata. Wow. Here I go again. Hahaha!
- Life. Not only is my birthday the day I was born, but celebrating it every time it comes around is not only rejoicing in my birth, but also the fact that I lived another year on this earth. Not everyone makes it to twenty.
- Milestones. Different ages mean something. When I turned eighteen, I could order things on infomercials, and I could vote. When I turn twenty-one, I will be old enough to buy and consume alcohol responsibly. This year, I am turning twenty. That is an even number, and the final year of my second decade of life. How cool is that? Milestone material, I’d say.
- Wisdom. I may not always realize it, but every year of life brings experiences and change. Everything I’ve gone through has made me a wiser, stronger, and happier person. Worthy of celebrating? I think so.
I know it can be hard, especially when you have to plan your own birthday as an adult, and you grow up and realize you’re not the only one who was born on your birthday. But always remember that you matter, and even if it’s as small as buying yourself a chocolate bar or flowers, do something to celebrate you. This is something I’m working on embracing myself, and to be honest, I will probably read this over a few times, just to make sure I practice what I preach. Hahaha! Here’s to you, the one and only you, and your special day. You deserve it, so don’t ever downplay or forget. At least, not anymore. I sure won’t.