I turned 29 years old last Saturday and unfortunately I was sick.
I don't remember ever being sick on my birthday before and naturally I really struggled with it. I thought maybe I could encourage anyone else who has or might endure this and talk about why Birthdays are such a big deal to me. AKA...why being sick for it especially sucked.
Now, I always get pre-birthday anxiety. You know, that feeling of worry that people will forget, or not really care and you will see the day come and go without the desired amount of affirmation, love and pomp and circumstance. We all want to feel special and loved and I feel like Birthdays are that time once a year where friends and family affirm those feelings.
Now, my family has always been sweet and generous on my birthday. But since moving to LA and away from home I have had to find and make a new community. In the absence of close family, the affirmations of friends have become even more paramount. My birthday is always that time of year where I reflect and realize how lucky I am to have such great friends. On a selfish level, this is generally gauged by how many people call, text and show up to my party. (As a note, almost everyone in LA plans their own Birthday. It's part of the culture here and I love it).
Being sick this year, I had to post pone my party (cue even more anxiety). I was forced to/chose to stay home on the day that is meant to be spent out and about lavishing in food and gifts or at the beach surrounded by tons of my nearest and dearest. I did try to make the most of it. My roomies and hubs showered me with donuts, cozy company, Chick-Fil-A and a movie night. But I couldn't help but feel sort of...well...sad and lonely.
It sounds crazy but there are so few marks of committed friendship in adulthood and how we shout out or show up for people's birthdays is thus hugely important.
I really had to remind myself that my value was not in the party and recall how my friends support me and show up in the everyday.
My small group celebrated me with singing and my friend Jordan baked the best Strawberry Shortcake. I got cards and the sweetest, longest, most meaningful texts. I didn't have the party night I planned, but I got something a bit deeper in the mix - gratitude.
I have people who affirm me on more days than one and STILL have that one day to look forward to this weekend catching up over cocktails with friends.
So if you are reading this and feeling like right shi* because you are sick for your birthday, or can't have a party or are worried no one cares - they do. Remind yourself of who is in your life each week, how they continue to chose you to be friends with and how you fill their life as well. Yes, it's one day that is meant to be full of celebrations, but I think many simple days with friends is just as valuable and special.
It's ok to be bummed out when you are on the couch sniffling instead of gabbing with the masses. Just remember you get to do that more often than not and after all - you are worth celebrating anytime of year.
So here's to the last year of my twenties and to being more thankful for the everyday gifts and not just the ones that come once a year.
~ A ~