June 18, 2015

another year older

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“I like other people’s birthdays, I just don’t like my own.” I tell my boyfriend.
“Well, deal with it. We’re going out.” He replies.

Weird really. I just don’t like celebrating it.

I don’t think anything happened to make it that way. I haven’t been scarred by a bad birthday. Although on my 13th birthday my friends at school all ignored me until lunchtime and when I was about to mention it,  tears wobbling around my eyes, they announced “SURPRISE” and took me to a massive picnic they’d organised on the school lawn. I was so traumatised that I couldn’t enjoy the sausage rolls in all their glory.

When I was younger I used to try and hide it so no one could embarrass me or sing to me or ask me questions about what I was doing to celebrate. The answer was normally: nothing. I don’t like my own parties. I like other people’s. I’d feel forced into organising something and then hyperventilating that someone would text me last minute to say they couldn’t make it and then I’d whole spend the night crying in the bathroom and not appreciating who was there. Because that’s the thing about birthdays, they’re meant to be a nice thing but sometimes it’s all a bit forced. You don’t have to do anything but you feel like you should. Same with weddings maybe. I’ve realised that I’m happiest in a small crowd of people than trying to throw extravagant parties. I’m great at throwing surprise parties for other people though.

In general it’s not a great look being grumpy on your birthday either, mainly because you should just be grateful that you are a) alive to celebrate another year and b) that people care about you enough to want to make a fuss even if you don’t want them to.

Maybe it’s the thought of another year spinning past, or it’s just the day itself where someone potentially forgets by accident making you angry or sad, or you’re disappointed that it’s not the *best day ever*. It’s only a day. Another normal day where people who you haven’t spoken to for twelve years write “HB” on your Facebook wall.

This year though, I was reminded how many wonderful things I have to be grateful for. Because I really really do. I caught up with a friend at Take That concert on Monday. My boyfriend took me to the Typing Room on Tuesday night (my actual birthday) and we had five delicious courses of pure bliss and amazing red wine. It was a warm evening and it wasn’t far from our house so we could wander home late and I just felt so happy, to be living together, and to be living in my favourite part of London. My older sister rang me for a long chat. My little sister sent me a wooden card all the way from Australia. My mum came to visit and we went shopping and had breakfast just the two of us. Last night I had my closest friends over for dinner and we reminisced and laughed and drank white wine outside on my balcony. Fifteen years of friendship is a glorious thing. One of my very talented best friends Polly designed me a frame with a personalised message to hang on the wall of my flat. I also have some major news I’m announcing very soon.

In general each year I’ve got older, the happier I’ve become. Dawn O’Porter has written a really lovely column in this month’s GLAMOUR about this exact thing. I like getting older, I like being happier in myself and my own opinions and thoughts on things. I care less and less about the people who aren’t on my side or any negativity that aims to drag me down, quite frankly.

So yeah, I wanted to write on here that I had a lovely lovely birthday. And write about how great things are. That I’m grateful for the people I have in my life. This blog is my online diary after all. Writing down good times is important, especially on a shit day to look back and read something nice.

Over and out. xoxox

  • Hi Emma,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I had to shout it out as Nigerians do! And I am very Nigerian. Everything you have written in this post about how you used to feel about your birthday… I understand. I have been there too.
    Things changed when I turned 35 (the age at which my mother died). I became grateful that I am still around to enjoy life. I am still around to see my two wonderful daughters grow up. Hopefully, one day, I will see them become great, contented and happy women.
    Thanks for sharing your birthday with us. And I wish you all the great things you wish for yourself. And more.

    Keep writing, I love your work. It speaks to me.

    Yvonne xxx

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