My birthday is this week.
Growing up, birthdays were a big deal. I mean, a really big deal. The entire family got together. Presents were showered upon us. My grandma made them a big deal. Always.
My grandma was also a little crazy. And was definitely a one-upper. She waited until her brother scheduled the date for his wedding. And then scheduled hers for the day before. My grandma was an amazing woman. But a little crazy, nonetheless.
18 years ago, she definitely one-upped me. She died on my 20th birthday. All of a sudden, a day that had always been a huge deal became something else. And I’m still not sure how to feel about it. Over the years, I have tried to take the day back. But to say the least, I have been unsuccessful. It seems like the harder I tried to plan good things, and good things only, to happen on my birthday, the worse the day was.
One year, my ex nearly knocked me unconscious, and I ended up with a bruise from my eye to my ear. He tried to tell me the watch and earrings were my birthday present. But really, it was a weak form of apology.
Another year, a different ex started a huge fight with me, because how dare I have a birthday, and the attention be taken off him for a day. After making a huge celebration for his own birthday, he turned around and told me that anyone who tried to celebrate their birthday was immature. He got drunk. And I cried myself to sleep.
And then, even last year, the last entry in my “thank you God that didn’t work out” series of boyfriends tried to do something nice. Turns out, I got threatened at school.
This year, I’m purposely not making any plans. I’m not trying to make the day, well, anything. Secretly, not so secretly, I’m still hoping up hopes that something amazing and fantastic and wonderful will happen. Who wouldn’t?
But honestly, if I can just survive the day, I will be thrilled.