(I was planning on waiting to write this, but I’m PMSing and full of emotions.)
I love birthdays. I always have. There are infinite factors in the love I feel for what seems like such a simple, little idea. But the strongest reason, is because of the love that is shown on a birthday.
My generation tends to get harassed, and accused, for thinking we are all special, but that in reality we “aren’t special.”
Well. To be honest, I do think I’m special.
And I think you are special.
And you, and you, and you.
And yes, even you.
I think that everyone is special, and that everyone should be celebrated. And yes, I really truly mean EVERYONE. This past year, I have been trying my best to shift away from my often negative attitude, and looking for things and people to celebrate everyday has helped this. Being chronically ill has encouraged this. I try to celebrate when I make it out of bed every morning, or when I make someone laugh. I try to celebrate strangers on my commute; actively reminding myself to smile at people walking by. I’ll compliment the barista’s lipstick. I’ll compliment the color of the sweater on the guy next to me waiting for the bus. Sure, these are superficial things. But I know that they would give me a great boost in confidence if I was given them, and then I would have one less thing to worry about the rest of the day. So why not actively try to give that sense of relief to other people? On birthdays, I try to remind the Birthday Person that I am glad I have them in my life and that they bring me light and joy.
It’s a little thing, it doesn’t take much. It feels good to give, and it feels good to get. Easy.
I had mentally started this post a couple of days ago, and was going to write it after my actual birthday. But yesterday some of my friends got together to give me a surprise party. I’ve never had a surprise party, and other than family, no one has put immense thought into my birthday before. Oh sure, I’ve been given lovely presents. But as I said in my last post, the best gift is time. Getting a day to just goof around with my friends and recreate Taylor Swift’s iconic squad photos, snacking away at spicy Cheetos while catching up, and singing along to Tangled and Moana; those are memories that I will hold onto much longer. There were all sorts of little details made me feel loved and known. My favorite indie artist on the party playlist. Disney straws. Whale stickers. Balloons and party supplies that look like they came right off my Pinterest. Starbucks gift cards. These are signs that they know who I am, not that they just know me.
If that makes sense.
I feel so ridiculously loved and blessed to have such warm and fantastic people in my life. Life is really fucking difficult and scary, and it is so less intimidating when you know you are surrounded by people who will fight back with you. This was one of my most favorite birthdays I could have asked for, so thank you to everyone who not only the ones who threw yesterday together, but thank you to everyone who has helped shape me, and those who shaped the people in my life, and so on. I know that our impact can seem so small. But there is an infinite ripple effect that, I think, touches everyone.
Everyone can be celebrated. Everyone can be special.
And birthdays can be our annual reminder for us to celebrate someone.