It’s that time of the year again.
The celebration of my birthday.
The actual worst time of the year from me.
Despite the grinch-like sentiment, I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to this day. Memories are filled with childhood anticipation, parties that ended in tears and – as I grew up – the overwhelming reminder each year that I’m far more sensitive than I care to acknowledge every day.
My birthday is my most emotionally irrational day. I care when people forget, despite my adult approach of ‘its not a big deal’, ‘who cares’ and ‘it’s just another day’.
It is a showcase of those who I expected to remember and who did, those I hoped would remember and who didn’t, those randoms who remembered because social media reminded them, those older friends who have it in their calendar and those family members who essentially own a card factory and sweetly never forget anyone (bless their cotton socks).
The day stings every year. God forbid I go as far as to have a party.
I didn’t plan an 18th or a 21st. My parents forced a 21st on me, that I eventually invited friends to on the day of – because I REALLY wasn’t into it.
My 30th is next week, and I’ve planned a SMALL party for tomorrow and the anxiety is real. What if no-one comes and I’m left feeling irrelevant?
What if people don’t come because they have better things to do? It’ll sting like it did at my 6th birthday when my mum arranged a private room at the local pool. We had snacks, balloons and a sectioned off portion of the pool – and no-one came. It turned out someone else had their birthday on the same day and everyone went there instead.
I suppose, all these years later, I can’t shake that feeling of rejection. The feeling of rejection that now veils my birthday every year. That sting that lands every time I have any expectations around this day. I’d rather treat it like any other day and be happy with anything better than a normal day.
I’m not great at remembering others birthdays either, and it seems I’ve been infecting others with the rejection I felt, unintentionally. It took years of active effort to care/remember other peoples birthdays and make them feel special – its still an active fight against an internal wound, every time I choose to do it.
To anyone out there who I’ve hurt by not remembering their special day – I’m sorry, it wasn’t you, it was me.
I’m not a birthday person, not sure I even will be.