In my social media profile and on this blog, I try to maintain a positive but real vibe. I am not a fan of the “show you’re awesome stuff all the time” because there’s a boatload of research on social media, comparison, and the damage it can do. Aside from the research, I’ve felt it. You probably have too. I do not like the possibility of contributing to that. But laying it out there on rough days is just a tad more difficult….
It’s very interesting for me to note that in moments of vulnerability, my “I’m going to talk about the good and the bad” tendency starts to falter. Like everyone, I want to hide on the rough days.
Birthdays can be a bit of a trigger for me. It’s when I need friends around to celebrate and enjoy the wonderful, fabulous community of friends I am lucky to be a part of. There have been a couple of years where I didn’t have that and it was a tad depressing.
So I knew that if I wasn’t careful, my birthday last weekend was going to make me sad. Yes I’m living my dream of living in Ireland. Yes it’s awesome. But it’s also sometimes lonely.
It helped that last week included seeing several people I can now safely call friends. But that doesn’t replace hanging out with all my wonderful peeps that I really miss. Damn I miss ya’ll.
Part of choosing happiness is making it easier for yourself to choose happiness. So planning a few activities was a must if I wasn’t going to be sad on my own birthday.
After painting I headed home for a 2 hour “it’s-my-birthday-and-I-can-indulge” 2-hour nap. Which made it easier to enjoy a late night at the pub hanging out with a few friends. By coincidence, they happened to have planned a get together on June 1. I didn’t bother mentioning my birthday. I don’t like the obligatory “Oh it’s your birthday!” moment nor do I want people (kindly) buying me alcohol that will likely go beyond my limit.
My 21st birthday happened to fall at the end of my study abroad tour in college. I was alone in Paris. I went to Versailles, called my parents from a payphone (remember those?), and had a dessert of champagne-soaked strawberries in a Paris cafe.
Having that birthday alone didn’t bother me then. Not sure what that says about my 21-year-old psyche versus my thirty-mumble psyche. Or today’s culture and it’s effect on how we feel about ourselves. I’ll ponder that and get back to you.
In either case, I had a lovely birthday. Even if I miss my friends and family, I’m in freaking Ireland!