(Un) Happy Birthday

At 30, you're old enough to look back, and young enough to look forward. -UNKNOWN

 

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June 18th. The date I silently dread every year. A nagging reminder of my personal short-comings and failures. The one day of each year that I hope comes and goes expeditiously. June 18th is my birthday, and today happens to be that day. Moreover, today happens to be my 30th birthday and surprisingly, I'm not "in my feelings".  Correction, I am in my feelings, but there are more positive emotions than in previous years. Usually, despite the efforts and affection from loved ones, I am overwhelmingly sad on this day.  The societal expectation of instant happiness for your birthday is typically too much pressure to bear. Most times when my birthday approaches, I am inexplicably depressed, speaking/thinking negatively about myself and life and revisiting my flaws and imperfections.  However, this year, I'm at a place of peace in life; I am more confident; I've accomplished some goals; I have genuine love in my life and most importantly, I can say "I love myself" and it is the truth.  This birthday brings reflection and self-evaluation in the most welcome way. 

Over the course of the past year, I have done a lot of soul-searching to actively change my life and way of thinking. I have learned to be patient and more understanding. I try to treat people more kindly and use my words carefully and with the best intent. I try to be selfless and a source of light to others. I am learning that forgiveness is a process and pain is most times, temporary. Now each new day brings new chances, and not new problems, which once was my perspective.  As I grow, I accept that mistakes and failure are a part of life and not an indication of my inability to succeed. I am accepting of others and their personal struggles and more compassionate and empathic than ever. Moreover, I attempt to walk in love and positivity, always looking for the silver lining and the lesson in all of my challenges and trials. 

As optimistic as I am feeling about life these days, it'd be less than honest to say I welcomed the day with open arms. I  spent the days before in deep introspection, allowing myself to cry, and battling feelings of ambivalence about my birthday. As usual, I choose to spend most of my birthday alone, but this year, I've replaced the typical emotions of sadness and hopelessness with solitude and expectancy. Instead of focusing on what I have not acquired or accomplished,  I am taking time to acknowledge my strengths, redirect my energy, and re-establish and realign my goals. This birthday, I am counting my blessings and embracing my new year instead of viewing the day as a burden and inevitable albatross in my life.