It was two weeks until my seventeenth birthday and I was freaking out. I don’t like birthdays. Not because I had a sad story behind it or cause something tragic happened on that day. But simply because at one point I used to love Birthdays too much.
Then as “adulthood” rolled in and everyone started expecting you to act and think like an adult, my birthdays ended up being little dinners with family. I can be honest, I HATED IT. I was a sixteen year old and wanted to sneak in a club, have a house party or at least have a sleep over somewhere. Not because I didn’t love the dinner but because I was always expecting more. Sweet sixteen was always supposed to be a huge thing, I expected to have a grand surprise party, or my friends turning up at my house at midnight. What I did not expect, as a fifteen year old who was turning sixteen, was everyone going to sleep at 11 pm on my birthday night cause everyone had work in five hours.
It was reasonable and I got it but I was expecting a lot more. I was expecting something huge, why? I don’t know. What did I do to achieve something that huge? Nothing. But I expecting it anyways. So two years ago when my birthday rolled in and my expectations were crushed, I had sat in a fancy restaurant with my family wishing to be anywhere but there.
As my seventeenth birthday was going to roll in last year, I knew it was going to be something similar. So I started avoiding the birthday topic, I started acting like I couldn’t care less about it. I somehow started hating my own birthday. It was kind of ridiculous but I told everyone that I suddenly didn’t like cakes (Even though I LOVE them).
Around that time a close friend was extremely excited about my birthday. I even told her that nothing exciting is going to happen a million time. Yet she just kept hopping around all excited, like a bunny. Somehow, even when I did not want my hope to go high, she ended up getting them up.
A day before my birthday I was freaking out, I did not want the next day to come. Because I didn’t know if I could smile and thank everyone for the not so happy birthday. So I called my friend up, hoping to get my spirits high.
“Wow! the birthday girl is calling me I am honored!”
“I still have 3 hours left calm down”
“Not in Australia”
“What’s up grumpy cat?”
” I realllly don’t want my birthday to come” I confessed.
“And may I ask why?”
“Because all it’ll have is a family dinner when Rachel had the huge house party for her sixteenth and Amanda took everyone to another town. I was expecting this to be great”
“Why are you expecting anything?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why are you expecting anything? You know People would kill to be in your place right?”
“I do and I do love my family but I am turning sixteen! Its big!”
“Because someone said it is? Listen, birthday or anything isn’t a big deal until you make it big in your head Drop it. You girl, are going to wake up tomorrow as if it is a normal day and going to be surprised for everything that is extraordinary get it?”
“But nothing, tomorrow is nothing special. It is a normal-normal day and everyone who calls or messages you, cares enough to contribute to make your day special, yes even if it is a birthday wish in a group, they can choose to ignore it ya know?”
“So what? I just have a dinner for my seventeenth birthday too?”
“No, you go and have the best damn family dinner, I am sure the food will be lovely and you will wear that birthday dress you saved up in that closet and YOU are going to make an effort to make it special for you! Get it? No expectations.”
“Wow you sound like Yoda. Fine I’ll give it a try, No expectations, I love you!! ”
“Love you too birthday girl!” I could hear her winking through her voice and I laughed a little.
Then she kept me on call until it was twelve am so she could wish me before anybody else did. That night I learnt something important. It doesn’t matter how others spend important days or celebrate, the real celebration comes from within. You can make an amazing day bad by expecting too much. I even learnt the truth that when you don’t expect anything, you will enjoy the small things in life. BUT when you expect, you just see how things did not work out the way you wanted them to, instead of seeing how incredibly the small things worked out.
The family dinner next day was amazing. I insisted to explore the small cafe instead of a huge fancy restaurant we had been to before. It was a little funny because all of us were over dressed there and ordered pretty normal food. But it was delicious and I honestly loved the place too. It was like a small place we all discovered together and it didn’t matter if the paint was peeling off the walls or the table was too low for us. Cause the food was too good, a lot better than I expected…and in all honesty, I did not expect anything. We all stuffed ourselves until we couldn’t eat anymore. Even ordered some extra food to give to the ones living on the street.
I saw the smile that lightened up their features, when they realized they are going to have some full stomachs tonight, it was the cherry on top. Yes, maybe I did not get a huge house party like Rachel or went to the another town with my friends for a day but I enjoyed the small things here.
Like annoying my brother on his hair or digging into the sundae with my family, competing to see who can to eat more. I guess, When I stopped expecting I allowed life to surprise me. I allowed myself to be grateful for anything good that happened just because I wasn’t expecting anything at all. On my journey to be a woman from a girl, that was what I learnt as I completed the age of seventeen.
And this is my VERY first post for This month’s TTT – An encountered with an advice. Did someone advise you something that taught you something huge? Something you will remember for the rest of your life! Tell me about it! Or better yet write a post about it 😉 Check out how here! The Topic Thingy for April. Go and start writing it already!
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So what birthday story do you havee? Do you love birthdays or hate them? Tell me why! How do YOU celebrate them? I am too excited to hear! And what do you think about this piece? Did you like it?