Last Wednesday was my birthday and for the first time in my life, I actually felt like I could enjoy it. I’ve always had an interesting feeling about my birthday. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I decided to make an attempt to spend it with friends– with mixed results. Before then, I hated it with a passion. Imagine everything most people do on Christmas eve. You’re running to the grocery store because you’re out of pepper. You’re in the mall trying to get a toy that you think that your child may recognize because you’ve put off shopping until the last minute. You’re spending the rest of the day cooking. Basically, you’re doing everything you can to make sure Christmas Day runs smoothly. Now with those things in mind, try throwing a birthday in that.
I’ve always felt that your birthday is the one day where you get to use the phrase “Its all about me today!” or “Its my day!” (unless you’re a bridezilla) and its actually sort of true but when your birthday is December 24, Its never about you. Its about Christmas. That set the stage for some pretty lousy birthdays. While my older brother and cousins got to have birthday dinners with cake and celebrations or a cook out (they’re summer babies) I was more times than not left wondering when my party was gonna happen while all the adults took care of their last minute Christmas errands. To this day, I can honestly say i’ve never had a birthday party and I’ve never gone out barhopping on my birthday. To this day, it is not uncommon for me to get a message from a family member or a friend telling me happy birthday and me responding “Thank you, it was a week ago.”
As I got older, I began to realize that if I truly wanted to have a “happy” birthday, I would have to be the one to turn it around for myself. And I did. Starting with my attitude. Sure those all those lonely birthdays as a child were scarring, but just like my crush on the original red Power Ranger, those days were temporary and they eventually became the past. So for my silver anniversary, I decided to make this day entirely about me. Obnoxious to say that? Sure. But you only turn 25 once right?
Remember that episode of Parks and Recreation when Tom and Donna “treat themselves” for a day? That is exactly what I planned on doing this year. I cooked, I had my penis cake (I really felt like Lorraine Bobbit when i cut it) and i had a nice quiet dinner with my boyfriend. As nervous as I was that the day would suck, it actually turned out to be quite the opposite. I realized that treating myself shouldn’t just be limited to one day. With the new year fast approaching, I’ve decided to make this my one and only New Years resolution. Needless to say, by treating myself I don’t mean living a life of extravagance or doing what I want. I’m talking about small things like a movie every now and again or taking a day to focus on you. I personally don’t think I do that enough. Everyday can’t be a me day but maybe once a month will work for me. For me, learning to relax and treat myself is the perfect bookend to 2014 and the most fitting introduction to 2015. Let’s see what it has to offer.