Between presents, cake and ice cream, decorations and more, what’s not to love about a birthday? As a little girl, I can remember looking forward to picking out a new place to celebrate– from the somewhat dingy bowling alley to the local nail salon– with my friends (who received some of the cheesiest invitations, might I add). Man, those class birthday parties were the best, too! The nostalgia is real, my friends.
Most children are too young to realize the true value of this innocent yet significant occasion, which is the way it’s supposed to be. What’s funny is how extreme people get when it comes to their birthday; it’s almost comical to me. Remember how on MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” just about every pretentious girl found something wrong with her excessively exquisite bash? To bring it down to a more realistic level, there’s always someone who complains about having to go to work on their birthday, or having homework/an exam to do on their birthday, or even complaining about something as small as the weather. There’s plenty more examples, but you probably get the gist. This year on my 20th birthday, I’ve realized how distorted the true meaning behind a birthday has become.
Birthdays serve as our primary reminder that life is to be celebrated. Life: as in having the blessed opportunity to breathe in and out each and every day. This world can be filled with such tragedy and grief sometimes when we lose a loved one, massive numbers of fallen troops overseas, victims who have lost their lives in homicide, you name it. We turn a blind eye and say, “Oh that wouldn’t happen to me or anyone I know.” And we are so, so wrong– not for saying that, but for taking for granted the day that awaits us when we wake up each morning. Birthdays remind us that we have been blessed to spend another year on this amazing earth. And when it’s time to celebrate, let us recognize and celebrate who and what makes our lives worth living. I value the family, friends, education, shelter, clothes, and food I have been graced with, just to name a few. Believe it or not, gifts don’t always come in pretty patterned wrapping paper and gift bags, carefully garnished with bright bows. This year, I’m all about focusing on the other kind.
No, I’m not going to dispute that I will be going out tonight to celebrate the big 2-0 with all my friends here at OU. Yes, I am a college kid, so you can put two and two together. But at the end of the day, I want to focus on what matters most in my life.
And in case you were wondering… of course I’m not revealing what I really wished for. Hint hint: it may or may not involve the Cleveland Indians and a record-breaking winning season.
As always, thanks for reading! Any feedback is appreciated and encouraged 🙂