When I decided not to plan anything elaborate to celebrate this birthday, it was motivated by birthday burnout. 25 gave me a bad case of it. I spent months agonizing over sordid details; I was bringing my closest friends out to New Orleans and I wanted them to have fun doing what I wanted to do. The whole trip had an overcast of doubt as I wondered if I planned it wrong, picked the wrong lodging, chose the wrong restaurants. I even felt bad about the weather. New Orleans, was uncategorically cold during our trip.
I walked away from the trip feeling a loss of sorts. Then, 25 was not what I had wanted it to be. On to the next one.
So, this year I decided not to plan anything at all. I’ll admit, at first it was a tiny ploy to see what would come of today as my loved ones rallied around me. However, as it got closer I realized how, by planting that tiny seed of expectation while also insisting I didn’t want to do anything to celebrate, I was creating unfair standards and setting myself up for disappointment.
Stuck in that indecisiveness, did I want to do something or didn’t I, disappointment began to fester. I didn’t quite know what I wanted, except to feel special and loved and joyous, unequivocally and guaranteed, for this one day out of the year. And then, it hit me. chapter 26, this birthday, provides an opportunity to put into action all of the inner work I’ve been doing to learn love and wholeness and freedom.
Read: Know How to Ride Solo
How could I be proud of the growth I’ve made in self sufficiency of emotions, when I was still depending on those outside of me to set them for me? How could I expect to be loved on and rallied around, when I had no plans of doing that for myself, on a day that means so much to me? The self righteousness of it all, the expectation of it all, burrowed into me until I couldn’t take it anymore.
Months ago I took Thursday and Friday off in a spur of the moment decision that a 4-day weekend sounded nice. And while some of this newfound revelation hurts to confront, it’s inspired me to make the most of this time.
A candlelit dance party, couple of face masks, the best chicken wings, a mini photoshoot and one solo dance party later, I feel as though I’ve honored myself on this birthday by carving out time for this party for one. Whatever comes next, from outside sources and those who love me, will just be icing on the cake. I’d like to think that it’ll be a manifestation of what I showed the Universe I want.
This, is chapter 26.