Why I fucking hate my birthday…

It’s that time of the year again.

The celebration of my birthday.

The actual worst time of the year from me.

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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.

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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.

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Review: Adrian McKinty – The Cold Cold Ground

Being a somewhat unprofessional reader, I can’t say I’m exceedingly well read, or that I’m aware of all the great novelists of my (our?) time.

One sunny twitter day, I was scrolling through my feed when an animated video began to play. Phrase by phrase I was sucked into wanting, NEEDING to read this book. Drama, thrill and shocking crime – this book had me. This book was The Chain by Adrian McKinty. Currently on pre-order until July, I wanted to whet my palate with some of his previous titles.

I accidentally began with the first book in his Sean Duffy series – The Cold Cold Ground.

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Photo: Allen & Unwin

Before I begin, I should admit, I have no idea what has happened/is happening in politics in the UK & Ireland – however, after reading this book, my heart and mind are fairly invested and curious into its history and the more recent developments.

I do love a book that stimulates further research and makes me curious about my own ignorance.

I’m not a massive fan of long winded reviews, so let me just say this:

  • Sean Duffy – An insanely well developed, well-rounded character. He’s flawed and imperfect, whilst retaining his sense of self.
  • Story Line – Fast paced, hard to predict, immersive, stimulating and satisfying.
  • Writing Style – Easy to read, not complex, and flows well.
  • Pros – Easy to read, moves quickly, informative/educational and immersive.
  • Cons – The story could use more thrill. Though I don’t necessarily dwell on this, as it was hardly an issue. When I closed the book, I just remember hoping for a more thrilling end.

I’ve ordered I Hear The Sirens in The Streets and I’m excited for it’s arrival. Will review the next book and see if it fares as well.