Everything and every birthday until you’re 21 is a waiting game. Everything after is a game against time. That’s not to say you can’t do anything at any age its just natural to worry about time itself… It’s that time again! My birthday happened Friday and so far I have laughed, cried, and eaten an exorbitant amount of brownies and ice cream and I loved it all.
This year I’ve grown not only older but more in tune with myself and with other people, at least I hope so, and I certainly feel more satisfied with what’s gone down this year than I did last year.
AIt was also my last day at my most current job and it was one the most bittersweet days I’ve ever lived. I had to say goodbye to people who taught me so much and leave a positive thing to jump to an even better one, and yet my life is nothing like I envisioned it as a kid.
I mean out all fairness to my inner child, being a full time artist, fashion designer, and ballerina would be pretty awesome though. I helped international students / teenagers at my last job who are learning English and I saw myself in each of them. They taught me a lot about my inner patience and strength and I hope I taught them to not be afraid to go after difficult things like learning English.
They wrote me so many notes of encouragement and thanks and being the softy that I am I cried a lot and had a tough time with the whole thing. Sometimes leaving makes you realize how appreciated you really are though.
This year I’ve witnessed the humanity, the “good” side, of people and it never ceases to amaze me, because you can find it almost anywhere. We all just want to live and be loved, some of us want to leave our mark on the world, some are content just to live.
Most of us are trying to get through the same kind of dilemmas though. “How am I going to get through this day, pay my rent, find my path? Should I buy groceries or a new purse? we think, collectively.
I’ve seen people my age live through a Snapchat filter and a haze of shots, but I love them anyway because I’ve been there. I’ve grown apart from friends who moved away to work in labs and be teachers. Some have husbands, kids, and mortgages.
The ebbing flow of friendships is something I’ve barely come to terms with. Some friends like me, are barely scaling out of the hole that is credit card debt and student loans. Your twenties are anything but boring and I think a lot of us forget how much we’ve really done by the time by the time another birthday rolls around.
Without fail, our birthdays after 21 always make us think…
1. Was I supposed to do more by now?
No. You are where you are because of the choices you’ve made but that’s not a bad thing. You can’t time travel back to your college days and slap your lazy self into doing what you should’ve been. You can’t keep yourself from doing things you had no business doing. All you have is the opportunity to use your mistakes to your advantage and learn from them.
2. Should I tell people or keep it to myself?
Do what makes you happy. If it comes up great and you feel like doing something with your friends that’s fine. That doesnt make you needy or narcissistic. If people don’t remember don’t take it as a personal assault on your personhood period. Unless it’s your significant other don’t bring it up. With smartphones, a million planning tools, and social media in our arsenals, there’s basically no excuse for this. Everyone wants to feel special. If you’re single, that’s no reason not to o have fun. Make it happen and don’t feel bad about it.
3. Have I learned and growun into a better version of myself compared to last year?
You’re only a year older not a decade. Don’t be so hard on yourself for not winning a Nobel Peace Prize by now. If you’re anything like me this is an incredibly difficult task but a necessary one. Don’t focus on your failures, emphasize the importance of your accomplishments and decide to improve areas you think you need growth. Write things down specifically and purposefully. Journals work.
4. Am I acting my age?
As long as you don’t live in booty shorts and on Tindr and honestly even if you do, who cares if you’re happy? Though no one is sin free, people are more interested in throwing stones than taking an honest look in the mirror because it’s easier. In terms of being judgy, not much has changed since Jesus’ time.
5. Should I broadcast every hour of my birthday? Any of it?
Social media is great for augmenting your negative feelings regarding yourself and that includes any lurking birthday related guilt. If you’re not feeling like divulging the fact that you sat on your couch and fell asleep to a Netflix binge on your birthday or where and when you went out with your friends, don’t.
If you want to broadcast a play by play, go ahead, just maybe don’t bore people with irrelevant details. Overall remember you’re not obligated to do anything or please anyone. It’s the anniversary of YOU, being born after all so celebrate and post whatever you see fit.
The easy thing to do would be to freak out because I’m 27. Would I really rather be 15, 18, or 21 though? Honestly… No. Fifteen was a blurred mess of trying to balance cystic acne and covering it, a desire to assert my originality, an unwillingness to fit in but wanting nothing more than just that, and trying to figure out how to say “I like you” to a boy, which I never did out of fear.
Eighteen was about my ever changing lofty goals after high school vs. my increasing interest in friends who experimented with drugs, alcohol, and just about anything except good grades. It took me a lot of heartache to get to twenty seven but it made my heart swell with love too. I learned so much and I wouldn’t trade it in to shave off a few years.
What do you feel about birthdays?
Happy birthday to all my Aquarius babies! Do you. We sure do it well.