My birthday is today (eeek!). I’m turning twenty-six, and I don’t know what to think of it. When I was little and playing house, I would always pretend to be sixteen. It was as if I couldn’t possibly fathom a more grown-up age than that. Now I’m sixteen plus ten years. I’m unsure what to do with that information, but I think I like it.
In other news, I’m realizing that it’s hard for me to celebrate myself. Not that I don’t do it every year. Every year, I’m excited when it’s April, and every year, I get a little more comfortable being okay with that excitement.
There’s so very much vulnerability in openly celebrating myself, you see. There’s the worry that others won’t join in, and I’ll just be standing there, celebrating myself, alone. (Though actually, when I put it like that, it doesn’t sound so bad.)
There’s the discomfort of being seen, and the navigation of finding ways to celebrate that don’t say, “Look at me!“, if being looked at isn’t exactly what I want. Some of us want to celebrate, but we don’t want the whole restaurant staring at us. You know?
There’s the bit about opening myself up to excitement, which also opens me up to the possibility (however slim or not-slim) that things will go terribly awry.
And then there’s the part about inviting others to join in. That’s the scariest part, to me. If I throw a party (or a celebration, whichever word you choose), there’s the terrifying chance that no one will come. Which really just has to do with people’s schedules, but it gives me the opportunity to take it all terribly personally and think that nobody likes me, as I’m wont to do.
So just like everything else in my life lately, celebrating my birthday is another chance to practice being myself, and liking myself. Tonight I’ll be writing, celebratorily (yes I did just make up that word; you can do that on your birthday), in the presence of my fellow Hybrid Writers. I’ll probably play some games (like Scrabble, which Mary already beat me at on Monday). And I may even break out my ever-so-sumptuous cheesecake recipe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
. . .
Comment Love: I’m feeling really vulnerable about this, so just know that. I’d love happy birthdays and for you to join the celebration. I’d also love to hear about your own experiences with celebrating yourself.