But I survived.
There were definitely tears.
But I survived.
Sometimes, people suck. I honestly don’t believe it is intentional. But just the reality of life. People suck.
Let me give you an example:
Last night was youth group. And one of the other leaders and I had previously agreed that we would swap birthday nights to bring snacks. She brings snacks on my birthday, I bring snacks on her birthday. Yesterday morning at 6am, I get a text, asking what kind of snacks I like. And any type of sweets that my high maintenance digestive system could handle was out. Ok, that isn’t exactly what was said. But that was the gist. So I do give options.
But then, she brought birthday cake.
And made an announcement that there was birthday cake.
That I couldn’t eat.
She announced that.
No birthday cake for me.
Maybe (definitely) I was already in a slightly emotional state of mind. Because I just hate this day so much. And as my dad sympathetically told me last night, it always will. Because nothing about my birthday being difficult will go away. Because the root cause just can’t be changed.
So I was already in an emotional state of mind.
And then I don’t get birthday cake.
And I have to watch everyone else eating birthday cake.
Yes, there was chips and salsa. Very delicious chips and salsa.
But it isn’t birthday cake.
If your digestive system isn’t high maintenance, you probably don’t understand. This is torture. Absolute torture. This isn’t the “oh, I’m on a diet and I shouldn’t eat that.” This is the “my digestive system is going to try to kill me if I try to eat that” kind of a thing.
Beyond that, I have a lot of friends and family with small kids, where life just gets in the way sometimes. I get it. So sometimes it’s difficult to remember birthdays and other important dates. I get it.
I really do.
Most of the time, I try to make sure important dates and things get recognized. I’m a cheerleader for life for everyone. I try to send birthday cards to people close to me. An actual through the mail paper birthday card. I want to see other people succeed. I want good things to happen to other people. I’m genuinely happy for everyone else when these amazing things happen to them.
But over the past 24 hours, I had a pity party. A selfish, downtrodden, pity party. I’m even going to be selfish enough to say that it was warranted.
Because life gets in the way and people suck sometimes.
Do I think that any of this was intentional? Absolutely not. My friend honestly was trying to do something for me when she asked what kind of snacks I like. Not thinking about how I might take it without getting to have cake. And within this same group of friends, another friend keeps telling me that we need to have a night where they all have to eat a “Johanna friendly” meal. So there is understanding there. It just went a little sideways for a bit.
And do I think my friends and family purposely didn’t wish me a happy birthday?
So I understand that it wasn’t a personal attack.
But the pity party still happened anyway.
I started to question why I do some of the things that I do. Why I’m always the smiling, friendly, outgoing, happy person that I am. Why I’m the life cheerleader. Why I go out of my way to do the things that I do.
Is it even worth it?
Not that I do the things that I do in hopes that people will return the favor. That isn’t why I do these things.
But, sometimes it would be nice.
I honestly started wondering who would even notice is I stopped doing the things that I do.
And then God chuckled, and answered my question.
A coworker, and one that I’m not extraordinarily close to, emailed me this morning, and apologized for not realizing that it was my birthday. And then thanked me for always sharing my smile with her.
Ok, God. I get it.
I don’t want to give you the impression that I had ever intended on not doing those things. I might whine and complain about it a little. But that’s all.
In one belated birthday wish this morning, a friend told me that he hopes today is the start of my best year yet. My friends, I cannot tell you how much I hope and pray that is the truth.