A Different Perspective On Birthdays
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Health and Wellness

A Different Perspective On Birthdays

It's not all about you

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A Different Perspective On Birthdays

An opportunity for me to write for The Odyssey arose a few weeks ago. Writing… I thought… is never something I have enjoyed when it comes to classwork. But expressing your thoughts through writing, with no pressure, and just being able to reflect on them truly is a beautiful thing. So, after some thought, I joined the team, and now here I am writing my first article. This chance came at an opportune time for me, considering that my birthday just occurred a few days ago. What a wonderful opportunity this is to be able to reflect on a topic that is applicable to all of our lives- progressing age.

As a child, everyone's birthday was his or her favorite day of the year. You wake up to a homemade breakfast, your family sings to you, you have cake left over for a month, you have a party with your friends, and you get to open all these presents that other people got for you. What do all of these things have in common? They all involve other people focusing their attention on you. Now, I am not saying that birthdays are a bad thing- we should certainly relish them when the opportunity arises. However, what if we changed our perspectives for once and deflected that attention away from us? Perhaps, on this special day, we should express sincere "thank-yous," should desire to give as opposed to receive, and should live in remembrance as opposed to getting caught up in the moment. Take a day that may seem to be self-centered and go against the grain of the world by living in gratitude. What impact could we have on other people by throwing away pride and self-centeredness in favor of humility?

As people grow up and progress through their teenage years, perhaps the birthday parties die down a little bit. However, we still naturally expect gifts from family and close friends. We still walk down the hallways expecting every acknowledgment and compliments from everyone. We still refresh social media time and time again, expecting to see other people pour out attention on us. Maybe instead of getting caught up in what the rest of the world thinks of us, whether that be positive or negative, we should instead focus on what our Creator, who made each person uniquely in His image, thinks of us. Next time your birthday comes around, let it be more than just being another year older. Reflect on your past year and be thankful for the highs and lows you experienced. Thank God for shutting the doors you wanted to walk through and for opening the doors you were hesitant to enter. Thank your family, your friends, your mentors, and whoever else helped you reach the ground you stand on today. Find joy in the molding process you have been through instead of letting the fear of the past control you. In fact, I would even encourage you to write down a few of the highlights and lowlights of every week beginning on your next birthday, and then after the year passes, look back on those and see God's faithfulness through it all.

Quit looking forward to being 16 so that you can drive, 18 so that you can leave your house, or 21 so that you can be an "adult." Embrace the 15s, 17s, and 20s of your life or you'll miss out on so much of what is in store for you. We often look so far into the future and worry about such miniscule things that we miss out on what's happening in the present moment. Most people who want to skip ahead to the next season of life end up regretting their decision not to make the most of the time at hand.

In essence, this birthday served as a reminder to me to flee from finding identity in attention, to be thankful for those who pour out their love to me, and to take a step back from this chaotic life in order to live in remembrance every once in a while. Say a sincere thank you to those who take time to check in on you. Do not take any conversation for granted, because each time you talk may be the last time you talk to that person. I hope you are able to take something of value from this, and hope that you may view your next birthday through a different lens!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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