I just recently survived my 22nd birthday and I am now reflecting on the whole experience and concluded that it was not only anticlimactic but also a little bit depressing. It landed on a Sunday, thusly the "celebration" kicked in as soon as the weekend began. People around me seemed to be a lot more enthusiastic about me being born 22 years ago on that day than myself. Of course I did have some very memorably delightful moments during this weekend-long hoopla, but the I find the overall experience to be self serving, unnecessary and a waste of resources.
Generally speaking I am not a negative person, I am hopeful about many different things. I believe in the "power of one". I advocate the assumptions of innate human goodness and am particularly good at recognizing the purpose and benevolence of every single occurrences in life, big or small. But when it comes to the day where everyone is obligated to make you feel "special", I simply cannot seem to enjoy the moment.
Perhaps the root of my tendency to devalue my birthday stems from parental neglect as a child. After all, the only memories of me having any fun on my birthday was me at two years old, eating Chinese dumplings. And again at four, receiving a pink music card in the mail from my parents, whom left me after my second birthday for a three-year-long business trip.
When I think of birthday, I think of balloons, cakes, candles, confetti and other childish knick-knacks. Therefore maybe only children under the age of twelve get excited about celebrating their birthdays, I mean what can a twenty-two year old do for her birthday that can be considered exciting or extraordinary? Invite a bunch of people to a birthday party whom perhaps are only there because they feel obligated? Go out and consume a ridiculous amount of alcohol which later exacerbate the "birthday blues"? Hire a clown to perform magic tricks for me and all my friends in class? Clearly, none of the aforementioned activities make a "happy birthday" and would definitely not make me feel appreciated or special.
After careful analysis, I think the source of my birthday related head-funk is predominantly due to social anxiety. Having so much emphasis being place on the day on which I was born is a little unnerving. I feel as if though people are only treating the birthday person well because it is his/her birthday and not because they truly like him/her or they want him/her to feel important. Furthermore, to me it just doesn't feel natural that we are still hullaballoo-ing about a birth that happened two decades ago. I often feel like a self-centered asshole, demanding attention and expecting presents from friends and families. I think perhaps some people even use birthdays as a "get out of jail free" card. I'm not anti-celebration, I believe in festive acts, I think they bring people together and reinforces valued behaviors. I just don't think birthdays are that big of deals. All in all, I just don't see anything worth celebrating for, so to complete this negativity ridden post, I wallow in my own despair brought on by the proverbial feeling of "another year older, and none the wiser."
p.s. I think it is a good thing that I felt shitty about my birthday, because it prompt me to want write again...I am much more communicative when I'm slightly uncomfortable in life.