No matter what I do to try and slow day the days – sipping my latte slower, taking longer hot showers, smelling roses and pricking my nose on those damn thorns - every year my birthday creeps up on me like the damn boogie man.
And now I’m 26. No longer a cute, stereotypical early-20-something with nothing to contribute to society but a new Urban Dictionary definition and a baseless cause to passionately protest. Now I’m heading towards my late twenties, which in the eyes of anyone much younger or much older, is basically thirty. So happy 30th to me.
And since this is my 26th-slash-30th birthday, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the tradition of celebrating birthdays. I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks now – as the anniversary of the day I was born approached – and I keep coming back to the same [somewhat rhetorical] question: Why are birthdays all about being self-centered, gift-accepting and ME-ME-ME?
Ok – don’t freak out. I’m not saying that you can no longer have your week-long celebration of you and everything you’re about. I’m not trying to pull out your Facebook-birthday-wishes-post-patterned-rug from beneath your glitter-heeled feet. Trust me – I love German chocolate cake with my name written in pink buttercream frosting across it more than most girls. But seriously – at what point did we make the decision that a person’s birthday is all about celebrating themselves?
If a birthday is truly the anniversary of being born – and of being alive – shouldn’t we instead celebrate the reasons we are happy to be alive? Contrary to popular opinion, gold sequin dresses and party hats are actually not at the root of true happiness [though don't tell Kate Spade that]. What makes our lives are the people who surround us. The ones who keep us hurling over from gut-wrenching laughter. The people who surprise us with amazingly strong character. The person who always thinks of you – the ones who make you feel loved.
If a birthday is a time to scream and shout about the fact that you are alive – we should in fact give thanks and praise to the people who make being alive worthwhile.
It’s just a thought. I know that my birthday would be no event for celebrating without a heaping handful of wonderful people I’m lucky to call my friends and family. Some of them are new in my life this year, some who were there last year are no longer around, and some have been there from the very beginning. These are my birthday presents.
So thank you to my friends. You crazy bunch of outspoken, energetic, sarcastic and party-loving people with impeccable taste and beautiful smiles.
And thank you to my family. Unconditionally you have loved me every minute of every day for 26 years.
Alright, enough enlightenment. I have the rest of my late twenties for that shit. Let’s party on. Cheers to a week full of vision through champagne-colored lenses.
Oh, and are you wondering what O.A.N. stands for? Well I had to create some abbrev to maintain my youth today, Old Ass Natasha still has some swaggy you know.