My birthday is next week and it’s honestly my favorite day of the whole year. From this last statement, you might assume I love the spotlight. But you know what they say about assuming. That’s really quite far from the truth. In fact, that bright beam makes me a bit uneasy most days. I can, have, and will when necessary, stand in the middle of the stage and conduct, sing, or dance a like a monkey. But this gal would rather work her magic behind the scenes than in front of them.
Except on birthday.
It’s my favorite day.
Did I say that already?
I’m not sure why exactly, or when it started. Looking back, maybe it was my sixteenth birthday. I wanted more than anything a bouquet of flowers. I had never received flowers from anyone but my parents at that point. Hell, if I’m being honest, flowers are still one of my favorite things and I can count the times I’ve been gifted them on fewer fingers than I have. My BFF at the time bought sixteen dozen fake flowers. She passed out these mini bouquets to sixteen people I knew. All-day I received these flowers and it ended with a bouquet of real ones. It was magic. To this day it’s one of my favorite memories. Feeling love and kindness from so many people.
Admittedly, I usually try to make a whole week of birthday. But my love of birthdays doesn’t just encompass my own, it extends to every person I love and care about. It’s the one day a year that is set aside specifically for each of us. Well, me, you, and about 17.7 million other people on any given day.
I firmly stand, dig my heels in, and will die on this mountain believing that birthdays are a thing to be celebrated. Sometimes it’s a bunch of small somethings, and other years its big somethings. Birthdays are the place where each of us got our start.
Think about this for a moment.
It’s the day you took your first breaths, the first time you cried, the first time someone ever laid eyes on you. Cooed you to sleep. Held and loved you. Every single revolution around that big star should be honored. You deserve to be celebrated.
Some years are easier than others. I wasn’t a fan of twenty-nine, but thirty-four has been pretty good to me. Some years I like to celebrate by going to fun places. Others are huge parties where I spend weeks theming the crap out of it and make dressing up and partaking mandatory. Last year was Harry Potter, where everyone dressed up and was housed correctly. I think there’s a post right about here for ya. The year before was Rainbow themed. As each party-goer walked in they were accosted with a rainbow pallet of eye shadow. Everyone wore rainbow warpaint.
It was glorious.
This year’s birthday week started with a surprise visit from one of my closest friends. It will be the first year in seven or eight that I haven’t had a party. I have some mixed feelings about not seeing all of my people in one place. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s just change. So, friend came out and we lounged around and talked the whole afternoon away. Something we used to do on the regular but since moving to Seattle, these moments are far and few between. I cherish them.
Today my sister and mom made the two+hour drive to see me. They’re sticking around till tomorrow. Doing the Seattle thing while I’m at work and then we’ll have dinner with a couple of my old friends. I get to spend time with my people, even if it’s not a party.
On my actual birthday, I will be waking up next to my best friend and inamorato on the west coast of Washington. I’m looking forward to this more than anything else. I miss the coastline and the water and feel that ache in my bones to be near it again. I will be with my favorite person and he has never seen any of this before. I look forward to sharing the experience with the person who means the most to me.
Birthdays mark a fresh start and new cycle around Helios. A time to reflect, a time to own our desires, and a time to celebrate who we are. When your birthday arrives, promise me this. You will take time for yourself. You will do something special just for you. Let yourself be loved by those in your life and more than anything else, embrace another year.
Growing old is a gift not bestowed upon all.
Happy Birthday, Me.