My birthdays, more specifically. I’m having my birthday some day this week. But I don’t like celebrating it. I’ve grown to believe that it is not worth celebrating. If I have to celebrate it just to please some people or stop them from pestering me why, I wouldn’t do it every year. I’ll much preferred if it’s paced out a bit. Why? Well…:
Birthday does not mean new freedom
As we grow older, we get bigger, better toys or gifts each year. Because a good and decent birthday gift should be age-appropriate. We expect them to be! But earning new and better freedom does not depend on your age; contrary to what society wants you to believe. You won’t necessarily gain the freedom to take the car and drive wherever, whenever you want. You can’t install a new software because you don’t have the damn freedom of being the damn admin. Your parents get upset when you do not tell them where you are going before going somewhere. And your choice of friends/lack of friends warrants questioning. My friends give me that look of disbelief whenever I tell them that I can’t drive to a certain place or at a certain time because my mother’s worried for me, or distrusts the people that I’m going to be with. Freedom is not determined by age. It does not come beautifully wrapped in pretty paper and tied elaborately with a ribbon. It is earned. You fight for it. Because there are some gifts you can’t expect to receive on your birthday.
Birthday does not mean a new or better you
Self-development and maturity takes time. A looong time. Definitely longer than a year. And it disappoints me to find myself no better than the person 365 days ago. It’s like making a new set of New Year’s resolutions and only crossing out one or two on the list on New Year’s Eve. Birthdays are there to tell you “I’ll be back every year, just to remind you how much you suck”. Birthdays are mean and it’s almost cruel to know that people celebrates them, specifically mine.
Birthdays are an obligation for other people
It’s YOUR birthday! THEY have to celebrate it. People feel obliged to wish you happy birthday out of expected social convention and tradition. But most of the time, it comes out insincere and commonplace. Ready-made greeting cards with text in them simply signed with their names. A Facebook wall post that is only a sentence long and contains the overused “have fun!”. Or even a paragraph of birthday wishes from someone you hardly meet or have since long forgotten, which surprises you and you question their outburst of emotion. We’re driven by tradition and convention, how people expect us to act. So most greetings sound and look the same. Except for that tiny handful who put in the effort to be sincere and thoughtful when delivering a greeting. You havta make a mental note of them to be friends with them forever.
I’m shy and don’t like being the center of attention.
And I don’t like parties. Especially those that celebrates me.
These all tie down into one hell of a pessimistic view on birthdays. However, I’m indeed grateful for having another year of simply being alive and breathing. I appreciate the effort people go into greeting me happy birthday, even if it’s the generic Facebook wall post. I love getting presents, regardless of price (or age-appropriateness). I just feel that people shouldn’t feel forced to greet me happy birthday. All these greetings and gestures of celebration are there because it’s a birthday and we have an obligation to see to it. I just feel that if someone wants to celebrate my existence, it shouldn’t be just reserved for that particular day. I think it should be done whenever you feel like it… impromptu, no matter how short. Aren’t I full of contradictions? Or am I just asking too much?