The Birthday Feeling

Squirrel Selfies (10/12/2016)

Today is my birthday. And I don’t really feel anything. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just something you realize once the sun has gone down and you can’t remember a single moment of pure giddy excitement. Well… That’s not entirely true.

I remember waking up shaking from a slightly unnerving dream, and remembering that it was finally my birthday, the day I had been dreading for the past 365 days. As I was preparing to leave for school, the pessimism was still clouded and lurking through my mind; I still felt there was something bad bound to happen. But nothing yet – it’s only 7am. I was dressed, I was covered warmly, and I was nervous.

My entire trip to school was full of smiles, however. There were the well wishes on Facebook, most of which were direct messages, and all of them put a smile on my face and a little warmth in my chest. Along with the love, my first class of the day made me feel amply cheerful as well. I received my grade on an essay back and gotten a perfect score – something I haven’t seen since grade school. I was basically glowing for the rest of the day, all due to that one incident.

After classes, I went for some spoils. I finally mustered up the interest and energy to buy something from this new store across from campus, a lovely body mask that I cannot wait to try. I also settled something with myself, which may seem small, but it’s still a personal accomplishment. I bought food again from the same sub shop I always patron on my Tuesdays & Thursdays, but I wasn’t short any money this time. So, when I received my change of $3, I left one of them in the tip bin. To explain, it’s like settling an argument you had with anxiety. And I feel it was well settled.

The evening went slow from there, so I’ll spare the sob story of tired, exhausted me, waiting for the bus. But overall, I enjoyed my day. There’s still more to come (eventually and paragraphically), and, yes, I can’t wait. A friend of mine decided to do what I’d consider too much for me, all out of the kindness and love in her heart; in other words, I have a pretty full weekend.

I’ve feared my birthday this year so heavily. But now it has come and gone, and I’m cursing myself for an “irrational” fear. Maybe I’m jinxing it, but I feel things may actually change, and not for “becoming of age” reasoning, more so a “turning a new leaf” sort of thing – lame, I know.

Thinking about it all, I learn that sometimes it’s okay not to “feel older” on your birthday; sometimes you have to allow yourself to soak in the immediate and let everything else follow on its own. For me, it was seeing that I’m surrounded by a wonderful group of people that I call my friends – an understatement of a name, really. Days later, I may or may not feel differently. But that doesn’t seem to really matter anymore. When I was younger, feeling older was the star feeling of birthdays. Now, it’s more about realization: assessing who you’re developing into as a person and growing to love that person. That acceptance feeling is what replaces the “I’m older now” feeling, and it’s a rather gradual one. But I can’t say I don’t like the feeling…


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