It’s official. I have lived through twenty-four birthdays. Happy Birthday to me!
Birthdays are an interesting time. As Drew Dudley says in his TEDtalk Everyday Leadership, “We celebrate birthdays, where all you have to do is not die for 365 days-and yet we let people who have made our lives better walk around without knowing it.” Yet, with today as my birthday, I’m seeing this quote a little differently. Aren’t birthdays a time for others to show you how you have made their lives better? At least in some way?
Birthdays as a twentysomething are hard. In college, birthdays were always surrounded by friends. There was never any doubt. Birthday dinner, drinks, and a night out full of dancing, fun, and partying it up, surrounded by the people you love and care about. For the past two birthdays, coincidentally the past two years since I’ve graduated, my birthdays have been in a new place. New people, new friends, new me. What do I want to do for my birthday? Where do I want to go? Who do I want to be with? And to those questions, I’m not really sure. I’m new to the area still, the friends that I’ve made are great but I haven’t yet found that core group of people that always hangs out together all the time, and regardless of my #1 Birthday Wish, I was still stuck reading most of the day for class.
Another thing about birthdays as a twentysomething: it’s okay (and almost expected) that you may not celebrate your birthday on your actual birthday. This year, mine happened to be on a Sunday. Aka the day that everyone is stuck at home reading the material everyone procrastinated reading for Monday classes. So with that, most of my celebrating was last night. A group of friends and I went out for a nice dinner and then to a local bar for some drinks. It was low-key but everything I was hoping for. The friends I was with are relatively new friends, but it was good company and it made for a really nice birthday celebration. And then tomorrow is my “work birthday.” The office organized a little get-together in honor of my special day, cake included! So I am looking forward to that.
Regardless of where you are as a twentysomething, birthdays are a great reminder of how many people love and care about you. I got a phone call from my best friend from undergrad last night, exactly at 12:00 AM. Even though she is hours away, she was still thinking of me. I talked to so many good friends today who sent positive messages my way. They took the time to call, text, send a Facebook message. It was just really nice. A nice reminder. Because sometimes, as a young twentysomething, you forget. You’re ostracized from old friends, close family. Consumed by your work, your job, your failed relationships and all the could-haves.
But on any birthday as a twentysomething, I think it’s important to indulge in something that makes you feel good. Even if you have to work, even if you have to read for class all day long. For me, it is this delicious glass of wine I’m having right now. It’s taking some time out of my day to write this blog post. Yes, birthdays do change as you get older, especially as a twentysomething, but what better way to celebrate all that you have done in the past year?
But celebrating you shouldn’t only be once a year on your birthday. What are some other fun and exciting ways to celebrate all of you other twentysomethings being so great?