So by now, if you’ve read any of my posts you’ll expect something along the lines of the acknowledgement that special times solo suck and the realization that you don’t need anyone else to be able to treat yourself. And while I maintain the truth behind those statements, I heartily acknowledge the difficulty in both.
There’s two types of people in this world – those who enjoy celebrating their birthdays and everyone else. Most who disregard the day do so because of traumatic past experiences, fear of aging, or displeasure with the attention. However, I think the main reason people forgo birthday celebrations is the fear of disappointment. As humans it is our nature to want to be loved and cared for. As people who have been hurt emotionally, it is our nature to say we don’t want the love and the care. But the reality is that we want it so badly, it is easier to disregard it completely than it is to live with the realization that that love and care may never materialize.
We apply this wariness to anything that may induce feelings of hope and the potential for disappointment. It’s so much easier to say I don’t do birthdays than it is to hope for a call from someone special and have it never come. We run from disappointment so fast that we fail to see ourselves sprinting from happiness. Every situation has the potential for hope and disappointment, either side of the same coin. There are those of us that leave that coin in our wallets, too afraid to throw it up and see where it lands. And there’s those of us that keep taking out that coin, keep tossing it in the sky to see what happens; knowing it may invoke so much pain but hoping for the promise of even more happiness.
In the Jewish faith, there is the concept of giving blessings to others on your birthday. Here is my wish and blessing for all of us:
We know more love than pain
We feel more full than empty
We smile more than we cry
We love more than we hate
We learn to give; parts of ourselves and parts of our hearts to the right people
We learn to take compliments and help from others
We allow our softness to be our strength
We let disappointment be a temporary experience instead of a permanent destination
We let the compass of hope guide our bodies, souls and minds