Birthdays are hard for me. Like really hard. I always get my hopes way up that someone will do something awesome for me… you know, wrap a new car with a bow, type of awesome. Yes, I am aware that is a crazy high expectation that no one in this economy can live up to. Totally unfair place that on other people or a significant other. And I agree. Completely.
However, when you grow up wondering if you have value, every birthday you wait thinking that this is the year that your mom and dad will make a day be just about you. That just one day you will feel like you are loved and valued, and they couldn’t imagine life without you. It really isn’t about presents, or a car wrapped in a bow, it is about value. It’s about someone knowing you so well that they pick out a gift that knocks you back with its thoughtfulness. Or plans a day that is just “so you” that you wonder if they were in your head. Having value and being known… how human.
But instead of really expecting someone to know you, your parents to celebrate your value, or some big gesture… you start preparing months in advance for a disappointing day. You wonder who will forget this year. Which sibling will call, or not. If there will be a card from the parentals, or a call, or nothing.
I got sick of the cycle a few years ago. Now granted, I still worry. I still would love that amazing birthday. But I realized that I needed to make my dreams come true. Why wait? Why look to others for some validation of my value. If I like me isn’t that enough?
So each year I try to do something I’ve really wanted to do. Get some ink. Pierce my nose. Take a trip to San Diego. Throw myself a party. Skydive. Not really crossing something off my bucket list, but do something just for me. And most of the time it is some sort of challenge, something I haven’t thought of but I impulsively do. I never wanted to have a ring in my nose, but a friend wanted one, so I knew that year it was going to be my “thing.” My friends told me the day before my birthday that we had to go skydiving. Instead of fighting it, I just jumped.
This year again I decided to get something pierced. This year I added sparkle to my ear. I guess it is called a tragus. It is that little pointy part at the front of your ear. Totally can’t explain it, so check out the picture.
It is the sparkle on my tragus, the tattoo on my wrist, the picture of me jumping out of a plane…. All those things remind me that I have to go after my dreams. I have to give myself value. And even if I never get that great birthday, having another year to learn and grow, is to be celebrated. Dare I even say, that I am to be celebrated?! So yeah, it isn’t my birthday yet. June 7th is still months away. But maybe it’s okay that I got my reminder a bit early this year.