Why This Birthday Was Hard To Celebrate #OOTD
When I was a kid, I walked into the kitchen one day to find my aunt crying on her birthday. I’d always viewed my birthday as the best day of the year so I was pretty devastated and confused to see her that way. The birthdays I knew were joyous: parties themed after my favorite cartoon, best friends gathering for a day of playing our favorite games, and all the gifts, cupcakes and candy I could ever want.
But as you get older, birthdays can often be harder. I asked my Dad why my Aunt was crying, and he explained that sometimes, there’s a disappointment that comes with growing old, and not accomplishing everything you wish you had by a certain age. Birthdays may feel like an unwelcome reminder of the aging process that brings you face to face with your own mortality. I now understand why my aunt was sad that day. And when you’re grieving, those feelings are multiplied as you celebrate a birthday without your loved one.
Though I know what a blessing it is to be alive and in good health, it was definitely hard for me to celebrate my birthday this year, mostly because of grief. And when it comes to aging, while there’s a part of me that slathers on anti-aging eye cream nightly (and delights in asking people to guess my age – they always guess younger than 29!), there’s another part that is overwhelmingly thankful for the wisdom that often comes with growing older. I finally know who I am — a creative, silly, passionate, nerdy, vivacious, smart, clumsy, free spirit — and I love every good and bad thing about myself. I’m free from the kind of people bondage I struggled with during my teenage years when other’s opinions of me mattered so greatly.
I’m not defined by my job (though I love it!) or my possessions or accomplishments or looks, because while I enjoy those things, they don’t make or break me. It’s my compassion and kindness for people, my love for my family, and my faith that really make me who I am.
It took a long time for me to get to a place of self-love, acceptance and peace, and honestly, I would never want to turn back the clock. So here’s to growing one year older and wiser. And always finding a reason to smile.