Admissions of a Birthday Girl

Tomorrow marks another year closer to three decades of my existence on Planet Earth. Admittedly, there is, and always has been a strong contradiction between the number of birthdays I’ve celebrated, the age of my face, and the age of my soul. If everyone in the world forgot the year I was born, I would be very confused about my age.

A few months ago, I gazed in the mirror one day to see my first noticeable signs of aging. Before that, I had a face as smooth and white as a baby’s bottom. A baby face, that took at least five to ten years off of my chronological age. When I was pregnant, people gazed at me in shock and horror, as if I were a teen mother. I went to complete paperwork at the bank for my name change, and the teller was taken aback. “I swear, I wouldn’t have thought you were old enough to get married.” I got that, a lot.

Tick - tock.

Quite the oddity, I was actually excited to see the fine lines across my scarred forehead and around my mouth. I may be the only woman on the planet that was excited to see my face start to catch up with my chronological age! I despised my youthful appearance. I have never felt as if my chronological age fit, nor did I take it as a compliment when someone thought I was a teenager.

I will make an admission; I am one of those people that typically loathes their own birthday.  Yes, I find it absolutely pretentious.  Except, I do not detest my birthday for the same reasons that everyone else does.  As previously stated, I like the aging process.  I have always been excited about gaining more numbers.  My birthday just falls in a bad time of the year.

Growing up, I secretly envied peers that had birthdays during warmer months.  Pennsylvania has reasonable temperatures between March and November.  My friends would have all kinds of fun parties, because they weren’t all trapped in the house, buried in four feet of snow, and huddled around the heater in subzero temperatures.  Camping parties, pool parties, outdoor parties, indoor parties where we could run around the yard, parties in the park, and every other conceivable party I couldn’t have.

As an adult, the problem grew worse.  In the last ten years, I have had two nice days on my birthday.  My 22nd and my 24th.  Neither of those birthdays had anything planned.  I can’t plan a party.  Every year I have tried, I was doomed for especially bad weather.  My 23rd had to be moved to the weekend of Superbowl Sunday, when the Steelers were playing.  Living in Pittsburgh, the Steelers in the Superbowl is more important than anything.  When they win the Superbowl, the city gets shut down for two days, because everyone is too busy celebrating to go to work.  If they’re not going to work, they sure as hell aren’t going to my birthday party.

People don’t want to come out in January if they don’t have to.  I have been cursed with ice storms, heavy snow, and subzero temperatures.  So, I stopped planning parties.  I stopped planning anything, actually.  Because each year, I have been brutally disappointed.  Those disappointments mounted into resentment for that day.

Not this year!  I don’t especially care what the weather is like.  It does not matter if my friends or family notice the date on the calendar or not.  I like my birthday.  I am celebrating me, and everything my life has amounted to.  I am happy with myself, and all that I’ve created and become.  There is no need for anyone to justify my thoughts or emotions about me.

I love that it’s on a Saturday, because there are no expectations.  I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.  And, I have all of the time in the day to do anything I do want to do.  I will go out and have a lovely dinner on the house.  (I already have the voucher).  Then, I will buy myself the things that I actually want for my birthday.  No expectations, no disappointments.

This past year has been one of the harder ones, but not the hardest.  I have made so much progress in all aspects of my life.  I am managing my physical and mental health well.  My marriage is solid.  My career is taking root.  And my son is growing.  My family is happy and healthy.  I am happy and healthy.  Those are all of the things I’ve ever wanted. This birthday, I have them all.

The best birthday present ever is the pride that I have in myself.  I have walked through fire to get to this point.  I may not have done it all gracefully.  But, I made it out stronger, wiser, and better for it all.

18 thoughts on “Admissions of a Birthday Girl

  1. People almost always mistake me for being younger… but I am opposite with you. I would rather LOOK young while growing older, if I have to age at all. Peterpan syndrome I call it. I notice every new crows feet and wrinkle across my forehead. I dislike it so much that I cheat now. LOL. And Dysport is the new Botox.
    Happy Birthday!!!! tomorrow. 🙂 Hope you feel happy adding that number on.

    • LOL, if yours is Peterpan syndrome, then what’s mine? I’ve always felt like a woman with a girl’s face. It was agonizing.

      I do feel good about putting another number on my age. If it’s coming off my weight, LOL. Seriously though, I feel like the gap is closing a little bit. But, I thought to myself, what’s my scary age? You know, the age that every woman fears that they’ll be old at. I’ve determined that it’s in my 40’s. By then, I’ll have children in college!

      • Haha… my scary age, believe it or not, was 28. 29 nor 30 bothered me. I am turning 36 this year and it is starting to get scary because I am so close to 40… ugh. Dreading those years. Not a spring chicken no more. lol

        • When I was younger, it was 30. Everyone made such a fuss about it. I don’t see it. I don’t feel old, just older than I was. My husband started kicking up a fit because he has some greys. I told him I could have greys. We’d never know because I dye my hair. I have since I was a teenager!

          36 isn’t a terrible age. My mother had me at 35. My parents didn’t start looking old until they were in their mid-fifties. So, you have a good 20 years to go!

    • Hey, thanks! I’m in the states, East Coast specifically. 5:45PM, Friday the 13th. I’m tucked away in the dark Kindergarten room with a class of ten and nine other teachers watching a kid’s movie. Attendance wasn’t high today, and it makes me wonder why I bothered to commute an hour in 20 degree weather and snow squalls. Right, I adore the kids.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes! And there, I’d have a birthday in the middle of the summer, right?

      Gotta make a trip down under for a birthday!

  2. Happy early birthday!

    I’ve never liked my birthdays either, but that’s because they’ve triggered my depression. Not because I felt myself getting older, but because of my ambivalence about myself. Also, I’d feel pathetic because I didn’t know much of anyone, so few people would acknowledge it. My 22nd birthday was actually wonderful, though. Someone actually planned a surprise party for me! For a person who’s mostly not used to having friends, that means a lot.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy the day tomorrow!

    • I started writing a comment to this yesterday, and I’m pretty sure that my Blackberry ate it. I guess my Blackberry is especially hungry for my responses, LOL.

      You know, now that you mention it, I have usually had an episode of depression this time of year. I wonder if it’s a seasonal thing. But, I highly doubt it; I had a serious wave of depression start mid-May 2011. That was a very turbulent time for me.

      Depression is still an complex creature for me. I know the basic triggers, but I don’t know what combinations will result in it. It’s never just one thing for me. I don’t know if the disappointment of my birthday inspired the depression or vice versa. Chicken or the egg? The eternal question remains unanswered.

      Fewer and fewer people have acknowledged mine over the years. I did get a text from a close friend this morning… early this morning, LOL. It woke me up, but I was ready to get out of bed anyway. I don’t expect a lot of fuss anymore. I realized that I should be making a fuss. I don’t need recognition to make me feel like it’s important. Because, it’s important to me.

      So far, so good! I’ll keep you guys posted on the birthday festivities!

    • Thanks, radiant, rambunctious, Ruby! I’m going to do my best. I was re-reading my journal from last year around New Years this year. Apparently, my birthday was disastrous last year. I ended up crying and in a very bad place over some events that took place that day.

      If I have to be the monster birthday girl, then so be it. I will have a great day!

    • Thank you so much! As I’m writing these replies, I do realize that these will likely be the most amount of well wishing I will get from one place. Thank you for being so kind to me!

    • Thank you, TD! It was a wonderful birthday, actually. The best I’ve had for probably about ten years! I have started to treasure every moment I am here on Earth. Who knows which one will be my last?

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