My second favourite time of the year has arrived. Underwhelmed? Well you see Christmas is my favourite time of year, obviously, but it’s not December yet. And don’t worry, this isn’t a Christmas in July post, which I still think should only be celebrated by old ladies with grey hair, clip-on earrings, six grandchildren (hopefully with first names all beginning with the same letter) and a dog named Cindy.
So no, I won’t talk about Christmas just yet. But my second favourite time of the year is upon us.
That’s right kiddo. It’s my birth-week. I shall be 25 on Thursday.
I’ve decided there are two types of people in this world. No, I’m not talking about men and women, although thank you for pointing that out. You are clearly a genius. Nor am I talking about coffee drinkers or tea drinkers. Nor Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers. Nor those who cry at The Fault In Their Stars and those without a soul.
When it comes to birthdays, there are two types of people.
1. The freak-out-ers 2. The flaunt-it-ers
(I’m considering writing my own dictionary one day. Just FYI.)
So the freak-out-ers. They want it to fly under-the-radar, and I get it (except I totally don’t). They don’t want to make a fuss; it’s just another day, right? Wrong. And here’s why. When they stay quiet, when they make it just another day here’s how the day goes for the rest of us.
They come into work, as usual. You say hello, as usual. You meet with them about that upcoming project, as usual. You go for your lunch break with them, as usual. They pay for your lunch, not so usual. You joke about the latest cat video that’s gone viral, unfortunately, as usual. And at about 4:55pm, just as you are winding down for the day and checking your Facebook, you freeze. Amongst the other ten names you vaguely recognise but can’t remember why, you see it.
To confirm your worst fears, someone walks passed their cubicle and says, “happy birthday friend! I bought you a coffee!”
Oh crap. It’s their birthday. Yes, the person you have been talking to all day. The person who bought you lunch. The person who never forgets your birthday. You kind of want to jump out the window, but refrain. (Proud of you.)
You brainstorm and come up with a plan. As they are leaving, you nonchalantly call out, “See ya! Oh, and again, because I already said it this morning but you may not have heard me, happy birthday!”
That, my friends, is why the freak-out-er’s need to freak-out-er less! It’s why I’m not a freak-out-er. I don’t need that kind of awkwardness in my life.
Also, I like attention.
Which brings me to the other group. The flaunt-it-ers. A group full of outspoken socialites who love nothing more than to be the centre of attention… AKA my party people.
We love birthdays. In fact we love them so much that we decided 24 hours is not nearly enough time to celebrate our entrance into the world so, naturally, we have a birthday week or a birthday month. I’ve even considered whether I could get away with a birthyear, so each celebration runs into the next and effectively, I have created a reason to party for the rest of my life.
There should be an award for coming up these kinds of ideas. Free In-N-Out or something.
We let everyone know it’s our birthday, whether they asked, whether they care, whether they know us. We post Facebook statuses about it and send out event invites; some even create Pinterest boards titled, “pressie ideas for me.”
Yes there are two types of people. Two very different types of people. And yet in our differences, our many differences, there is one thing that unites us all.
We all have birthdays (I’m going somewhere with this I promise).
We all get older.
We all mature.
Every year, we get to pass GO -- and if we’re lucky, we get to collect $200.
On your birthday, you get a moment/day/week/month/year to reflect on the lessons you have learned, the memories you have made and gifts you have been given.
A chapter of your life is coming to a close and you have a stack of fresh white pages waiting for you to record what happens next. Take it. Write it. Scribble. Cross words out and add in new ones. Take the story wherever you want.
And darling, for goodness sake, colour outside the lines a little.
You have another year to create a story worth reading.
Because, next year? When you come around to the starting line again? You’ll wish you’d started today.
And to my beloved freak-out-er’s? Chill out. Walk into the office with balloons for yourself. Eat some cake. Let people sing to you. You are so worth celebrating.
So, this week is my turn. It’s my birthday on Thursday (did I mention that?). And because it’s my birthday I can blog if I want to.
I will try to blog every day. I have no idea what I will write or how long it will be, seriously we could get to Thursday I might write “happy birthday to me”. But I will write.
It could be a memory, a thought, a rant, or a poem (it definitely won’t be a poem).
Let the celebrations begin.