Birthdays rub me the wrong way. None moreso than my own. I don’t think this is the right way to feel, but it is how I feel.
Stop me if my desperate need for genuine validation is showing, but the idea of undue celebration or praise makes me sick.
That moment when you realise that the nice person in the foyer after your show is saying all the nice things about your work because they feel like they have to, brings me dread.
I despise my birthday like I despised the football participation trophies I got handed every year as a kid. I was crap at football. I knew it, my Mum knew it, the coach knew it, and my team knew it. But I was celebrated anyway. Why?
Why should I be celebrated for simply surviving another year?
After 23 of these, I think I finally get it.
We should celebrate birthdays because surviving is an act of showing up.
Surviving is hard sometimes. So to be able to do it, year after year, with a steadfast consistency is actually quite incredible.
Birthdays are the markers we can use to measure how well we are undertaking the delicate work of carrying on.
Some stand out, others are bundled up, and some skip by far too fast – but there they are. Every year. One of the only guarantees we have.
I’m doing better at surviving than I was a few of these ago. For once, I’m looking forward to the next one.