The Uncomfortable Relationship With Birthdays

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The Uncomfortable Relationship With Birthdays

That odd feeling we get

Birthdays are somewhat curious days in our lives. Some perceive it as celebrating the day we are born, hence birth-day. But on the other hand, there are some cultures who view the glass half empty, treating it as yet another year towards our inevitable death. I guess I find birthdays a little weird because we are the only beings that we know of who consciously celebrate their birth on a single day once a year, every year.

Last weekend I turned 23. It hasn’t completely registered yet that I’ve been alive for 8395 days or 201480 hours, whichever measure you like using. I think numbers aren’t tangible enough for me to comprehend the length of time I’ve been alive. Some days it feels as if I’ve lived enough for several lifetimes and yet on others, I awake feeling like I’m just getting started.

The peculiar feeling regarding this particular birthday was that for unknown reasons I didn’t feel satisfied. I received plenty of birthday wishes saying I hope you have a good; fantastic; awesome; day... the list of adjectives goes on, but I felt something was missing.

To be honest, I didn’t know how to respond. I’m grateful for the small messages that people send on our special days even though I know the glorified calendar that we all have, i.e. Facebook, has reminded them. And I do truly value, from the bottom of my heart, individuals that call me to solely spend a moment of their lives reminiscing over our past and pondering the future and wish me a happy birthday.

Maybe the day felt subdued because I felt like doing something, yet because of the Lockdown imposed in the UK, there wasn’t anything to do. There wasn’t anything to make it ‘special’. Like an addict searching for a fix is sort of what I see the birthday high as, how are you supposed to make a single day better, more vibrant than every other day in a year.

I felt confused and frustrated on the 15th of November. To say I was in conflict with myself would be a half-truth, there is an element of the unknown that I’m yet to comprehend fully. The questioning of life, my life, is a thought I found myself pondering. I have thought I had come to terms with what the definition of my existence is, but in this situation, there was an intrinsic level of uncertainty itching somewhere deep within.

A yearning for more.

More of what I’m not sure yet and I’m hoping to be content with the notion that I might never due to the everchanging landscape that is our lives. But I can tell you what I do know is that I still plan on never ‘growing up’ doing my best to not lose that naive mentality and keep being ignorant to learn, all the while pushing my needle 1% forward each day to be the best version of myself.

Enjoy the process, like an adventurer sailing into unknown waters, being courageous in our life, the fun of the game we are all stuck in is not to be celebrated on a specific day.

We can celebrate it every day we open our eyes, for we know not when it will be taken from us. Cherish the relationships we have and nurture the ones to come. But don’t forget to take in the view once in a while.

You've Earned it.