Birthday blues

Another year around the sun not necessarily reason to celebrate

Birthdays are usually one of the most memorable aspects of the year. But, despite all the excitement and anticipation surrounding the yearly celebration, I constantly find myself dreading them and even going as far as hating them. 

I don’t hate my birthday for common reasons like loneliness or attention. I adore receiving attention from my friends and family, especially in the form of gifts, but a part of me has this melancholy feeling that has only grown in the past few years. 

When I was younger, I enjoyed my birthday because it seemingly was during the happiest time of the year, being right after Christmas.

 But as I’ve gotten older, I have felt this sort of resentment towards how close it is to the holiday, which is only four days before. A part of me feels that all the excitement I hold for Christmas doesn’t continue to my birthday despite it only being a few days later, because how can I when everything during my birthday is either about Christmas or the new year?

 One thing that annoys me is how my birthday is truly random. I have met several people born on the 27th and 28th of December. After those dates have passed, I don’t know anybody who also has a birthday dangerously close to the end of the year since that four-day period between post-Christmas and pre-New Year’s Eve isn’t eventful or memorable whatsoever. 

The emptiness has caused me to desperately try to find anybody who can understand how it feels to have a birthday with such unusual timing. I have even found myself responding to the typical  “When is your birthday?” question by just saying it’s during Christmas break in the hopes that the other person assumes that it is in January or that my response is vague enough to where they don’t think about it for too long.

Something I have noticed about my birthday is its ability to make me look dumb. With the way that my birthday is days before the beginning of the year, being a freshman born in 2007 makes me look like someone who failed a grade level and makes me look like I’m behind. This then makes me feel that people view me as incompetent. Moments that I especially feel this is when I’m in my chemistry class and the sophomores remember that I’m a freshman and think I’m relatively, but several times they find out I’m just a few months younger than them and was born within the same year. I understand that I might sound unfulfilled with my abilities and that may also be the case. 

Furthermore, I understand that a good number of people experience being in a grade with others born in a different year from September to December, but mine feels especially painful because it’s just so barely out of reach that I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The most prominent reason that I dread my birthday time and time again is that it is truly terrifying getting older. When I was younger, I would always be thrilled about getting older and gaining the fairly limited amount of freedom that comes with aging as a teenager.

 More recently, I’ve felt like my birthday is a ticking time bomb that reminds me of how much less time I have until I need to make important life decisions, and meet expectations.

 I understand that getting older is the way of life, and I will eventually adapt, as everybody else does, but this feeling of fast-paced change makes it harder to feel comforted that everybody else is going to go through the same things I am. 

Another issue for me is that birthdays have started to mean less, and there’s less of that feeling that washes over you when it’s your “special day” and what exactly it entails. 

I have the self-awareness that I might simply be overreacting and overanalyzing aspects of my life, but this is an emotion that has only grown in the past few years; wishing I had a different birthday and being terrified of what the future holds keeps me away from being all too excited.