Birthdays are a tricky business… well at least that’s how I feel about my birthday.
I’m honestly confused as to what I should feel about my birthday, should I feel happy… should I feel the need to celebrate it… should I feel sad… there are really a lot of things going through my mind right now and as usual, I’m over analyzing and rationalizing how I should feel and why I should or should not feel that way. Then again, that’s just me… and this is probably what happens after you get exposed to Six Sigma tools and have been doing analysis for the last 3 years of your life. I’m not even a black belt and I’m already like this!
And since I am able to think better when I put it in writing… why not create a blog post about it? I have been meaning to update the blog regularly, so why not now… on my birthday.
Reason #1: I grew up
I feel all the fairies and lost children in Neverland already weeping with the mention of those three words. I can even hear a song I heard in a Peter Pan musical playing in my head particularly this line: “I want to be like Peter Pan… I don’t want to ever grow up.” I’m not entirely sure that I have the lyrics right – but you get the picture.
When you’re a kid, you look forward to your birthday because it means that you’re going to get a lot of presents and you get to blow out the candles on your cake. All your friends get to visit your house and your family cooks you all your favorite food. It’s one of the best days of the year for you – right after Christmas, of course.
Just mentioning all those things, makes me want to be a kid again… Just looking at my kids and the amazement in their eyes as they blow out the candles on their cake or open presents makes me want to go back to the time when I looked at life through those innocent eyes.
When you grow up, however, there’s a lot of things you need to consider. I mean, let’s be honest – who wouldn’t want to celebrate their birthday. I happen to want to take my family out and show them a good time, because I feel happy when they’re happy. This leads us to reason number 2…
Reason #2: Money, money, money…
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not fond of spending or splurging on myself. Whenever I buy something for myself I tend to feel guilty, because I could have used that money for something for my kids and my family. This is particularly why I don’t celebrate my birthday.
Reason #3: My birthday usually falls somewhere in Holy Week
More often than not, my birthday would fall on either Holy Thursday, Good Friday or Black Saturday. This year, of course, it didn’t… but it has happened before and when it does, there’s really little room to celebrate with all the customary Catholic ceremonies and rituals that we need to follow (not eating meat, not celebrating, etc).
Reason #4: Time is running out
Let’s face it… even if I say that I’m only 25 years old and 12 months, the fact still remains that I am already 26 years old – plus, I’m not getting any younger! Every single day is indeed a gift from God, but your birthday reminds you of how long you have spent on this earth and how much longer you may or may not have. It’s like a silent wake up call and you find yourself asking: “What have I done with my life?”
Reason #5: Frustrations in Life
Reason #4 now leads us to my 5th reason for not celebrating my birthday – which are my frustrations in life.
Being the overly dramatic person that I am, whenever an event comes up like my birthday, Christmas and stuff… I end up in a senti-mode. I feel as though I’m at that moment in the movie wherein there’s background music to show that the character is sad, riding in a car, walking around and suddenly remembers something, trying to live his/her life but is really lonely inside – you get the picture. It’s usually close to the resolution of the movie – but not quite for me.
Whenever my birthday comes around, I miss my family and friends whom I have not seen in years… I end up thinking of the things that I had dreamed of but have not yet achieved. It’s like one entire day or week of dramatics which all revolve around my frustrations in life.
What am I frustrated about in the first place? I am honestly confused as to the root cause of that as well… all I know is that I had big dreams for myself when I was a kid… and where I am right now is probably not where I had pictured myself in those days. But that leads to another question – which makes me even more confused – because had I really known what I had wanted, then?
I end up thinking back during my days in 4th year High School and remembering how confused I was as to what course I wanted to take in College. My dreams had shifted from being a lawyer, journalist, doctor, director, writer… I really had not known what I really wanted to become – so that leaves me little room to be frustrated as to what my life has become. This now leads to my 6th reason for not celebrating my birthday…
Reason #6: Lost
Maybe it’s not really good to over-analyze and rationalize things – it really does things to you and ends up making you even more frustrated. This is what normally happens during my birthday. I end up reminiscing on my life, which leads to the frustration stage and ends up making me feel – LOST.
There are times when I browse through Facebook and go through my former classmates profiles. I feel happy for them because they have gotten so far in their lives or when I see that they have not really changed and maintain the same group of friends. Then, I begin to think – do they also think the same thoughts when they see me on Facebook? Did I become the person they thought I would become when we were in High School?
Life has definitely led me to quite a different path than I had expected. I don’t think I can ever become the person I was then, because I am a completely different person now. I even remember the stuff I used to write and could not imagine how on God’s good earth I had managed to conjure up such fantasy – and romance even!
The mere reminder of how old you are, puts this silent pressure on you – it’s like I can imagine my life as an hour glass and I can see the grains of sand trickling down with me powerless to stop them from doing so.
But even if I do feel lost and even if I can’t stop time or turn back time… there is something I know for certain – that it’s not too late. If there’s something that has not died with all the things that have happened in my life, it is that small flicker of hope burning inside me. Yes, it’s still there – still burning and looking at the positive side of life.
Reason #7: I don’t dwell on dates
If there’s something that you should know about me – it’s that I don’t dwell on dates. I don’t wait for new year’s day to start making a change or writing down my resolutions, because I believe that it’s just a day. Yes, I will greet you because it’s your birthday – but for me everyday should be something you should be thankful for – and that’s how I live my life.
I thank God for everyday He has given me, because for me – each day is an opportunity. An opportunity to make right what you have done wrong… an opportunity to be a better person… an opportunity to show someone how much you love and appreciate them.
I may not celebrate my birthday and I may be a bit sad and melancholy… but that doesn’t mean I am not thankful for it. I am, indeed, very thankful for this day because it marks my 26th year of being alive. It also acts as a silent reminder that I’m not growing any younger and I should start doing something about my life.
Reason #8: Why do I need to celebrate anyway?
I don’t need to celebrate my birthday to make me feel special, because simple greetings from friends and family – in fact, just being with my family today – watching Glee and all sorts of movies is good enough for me. I was even surprised and extremely overwhelmed with all the greetings on Facebook and that already made today extra special for me.
I don’t need any celebration or party to make me feel special, because I already know I am – maybe not in everyone’s eyes – but for God… and in the eyes of my kids and loved ones… I know I am special because they love me – and that’s good enough for me.