More birthday thoughts. Only this time, they’re about my birthday. My 26th birthday was on Friday (October 16th) and in the months leading up to it, I figured some kind of 30s-related fear or malaise would claim me on the day. And there was a little bit of malaise on the 16th. But it had nothing to do with the slow goodbye to my 20s.
Friday was a bit trying at first partly because of the curated party I planned for Ella’s first birthday. Most of my family came to town and I’d worked on it for months and then, just five short days later, I was supposed to feel like my 26th birthday, which may as well have been my millionth, was just as special. Or special at all. I felt like the day didn’t mean anything. It started with a doctor’s appointment for Ella and finding out percentiles and getting answers to a long list of questions and helping her recover from a grand total of five (!) vaccinations.
Feeding Ella breakfast and putting her down for a nap and cleaning up for my in-laws who would be arriving that afternoon.
I was doing all of my normal things, knowing the day should feel different. It was a cyclical depression I felt: knowing the day didn’t matter, wanting it to matter, knowing that it should, being sad that it didn’t, and we’re back at the start.
So how is all of this my Sunday Best?
This was all a long way of getting to what I wrote in my journal that day:
“It’s never my birthday and today it is. I, like every other person in the world, have mixed feelings about my birthday. But I’m going to shove those down and be positive. Livie said THE nicest thing to me. In the video of Ella’s first steps, you can hear my crazy, hysterical voice, encouraging her and then laughing as she accomplishes this major milestone. I was hating the sound of my voice, wishing I knew how to edit it out. But Livie said it was the best part of the video because you can tell how much I love Ella and that she trusts me. And Livie said I’m doing a terrific job and it made her think of how God must be encouraging us and excitedly saying, “You can do it!” And then she said she thinks I’m really special. And all of that just makes me want to cry. Because that’s all I want: is to feel special. As a mom, a wife, just a person everyday. And since I don’t right now, on my birthday, I feel like I’m losing out on something. But I am special. I’m 26 and special.”
I know the word “special,” and wanting to feel special is maybe a bit juvenile. Maybe I should have gotten over that a long time ago. And maybe birthdays don’t matter and we’re all going to die anyway and who even cares about any of this? Well, I’m going to practice something I did on my 26th birthday: I’m going to shove these feelings down and be positive. That’s one of my goals for this year. Hopefully I master it over the next 364 days so that on day 365, the never-happens October 16th, it won’t take so much encouragement to know my own worth. I’ll feel it all on my own.
P.S. And once I master this, I can go back to worrying about turning 30, as I should.