Today’s my birthday. My mom reminded me today: “Sweetheart, you’re going to be alone on your birthday this year”.
I’m entering into my late 20s. Translation: I’m still young enough where I can blame my reckless mistakes on my youth, but old enough to know (and do) better.
My friends like to party on their birthdays. Their special day usually consists of lavish restaurants and back-end bars. They hate to be alone.
But I feel differently about my birthday. Instead of getting excited, I become introspective. A bit more recluse than usual. Every year, for as long as I could remember, I wanted to reflect instead of hit the club. They would ask, “You want to be alone on your birthday? For real?”
This time is no different. I’ve been through a lot of changes the past few years, and it has me questioning what’s in store for me next year. Part of me is worried – if my life has changed so dramatically in the past year, how much more change is coming my way? Will I even recognize my life anymore?
The idea of change always intimidated me. I’m the type of person who finds their comfort zone and puts their roots there. Any shift into the unknown used to scare me. The familiar is safe and easy.
But a smaller part of me, the part I am actively choosing to listen to, is curious. I wonder inquisitively what’s next to come. Perhaps I will be in a new city, or in a new job. Maybe I’ll be married or pregnant. Maybe I’ll be writing full time.
What I know is this: I passed another year of triumphs, trials, tribulations and tests . And I am still standing.
I have had a lot of obstacles this year, most of them very personal. I am still trying to overcome some of them. But it’s okay, because I’m still standing.
So, on this reflective note, rather than go out and celebrate with others, I am going to celebrate with myself. I am going to ask myself the following questions:
- What did I spend most of time doing? Where is most of my focus? This question will highlight the things I want out of life.
- What made me happy, and what didn’t? Is there anything I need to let go of to achieve happiness?
- What are some of the major milestones? Have I congratulated myself? How did I celebrate my wins?
- Any low points to note? How did I overcome them?
- How am I showing up for myself? Can I do more to treat myself better?
- What do I want for myself, at this moment, next year? Or by the time I am 30?
It feels incredible to know that I’ve made it this far and came out a better person. Rather than letting the hard times break or harden me, I’ve shaped into a better version of myself.
I’m more compassionate and kind. Softer but more grounded. My urge to help others has increased tenfold. I am finally comfortable with myself. I’ve shed my old insecurities from my early days like skin. I feel empowered. I am empowered.
Now, when I’m asked the question, “You’re planning on being alone on your birthday?”, I say: “Hell yes.”
How do you like to celebrate your birthday?