Happy Birthday to Me

Me w Birthday CrownOn Monday, June 1st, I celebrated my 28th birthday. As you may have noted in that day’s “Daily WTF,” I take birthdays rather seriously and was feeling rather down on the prospect of my own birthday. Prior to the actual 1st, things weren’t looking good: I was arguing with a friend, three notoriously flakey friends were threatening to flake, I doubted my sister and girlfriend’s trustworthiness, and I’d just been forced to abandon a project I’d really wanted to pursue due to lack of participation. As midnight neared, I was feeling both incredibly discouraged and incredibly pessimistic.

Against all projections, my birthday was wonderful. My sister and girlfriend came in at exactly midnight laden with presents and cards and other surprises, singing “Happy Birthday” and interrupting my broodfest. They plied me with ice cream presents: gorgeous 3D earrings, a root beer float bag from Look Human I’d been eying, ice cream molds, and truly lovely ice cream spoons. They spoiled me with far too many presents, including several books and comics I’d been wanting and 1776, my favorite musical. I got to go to Bourbon & Toulouse, a Cajun restaurant I’d been pining for for about three years. My girlfriend booked me an hour-long appointment with a professional masseur, which is something I’d not-so-secretly wanted for about a decade now. All my friends managed to come to my party where they gave me presents, cookies, and wine and we ate tamales made by this tiny woman named Maria that I adore and watched 1776. I was thoroughly spoiled, surprised, and loved. It was breath-taking.

I have a tendency to gloss over the good and focus on the bad. This has been a problem for me my whole life – or at least the part of life I can remember. Undoubtedly, it stems from a rather rocky upbringing, but that doesn’t excuse it or mean that it’s acceptable. While I am fully aware of my friends’ and family’s shortcomings, I hope that this birthday and its attending joys will remind me to loosen up and forgive more in my 28th year. I’m confident that people will disappoint me, but I’d like to take these “betrayals” at their true face value and try to trust that these same people will ultimately be as supportive and loving as they were on my birthday and forgive their transgressions. I’d like to spend the night before my 29th birthday in anticipation instead of in moodiness, and I’d like to take this next year of my life to make sure that those I value know that I value them. I can be pessimistic, and I can be self-centered (Who can’t?), but I still want to make sure that my loved ones feel as loved as I did on my birthday. Hopefully, I can shake off some of the bad luck and unhappiness that’s been plaguing me these past few years and focus more on my relationships.

And ice cream. You always need more ice cream.

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