I Used to Love My Birthday
As the title states, I used to love my birthday.
I don’t anymore.
And no, it isn’t because I’m 13 months away from turning 50. Although, as with anyone that is close to turning fifty, I do find myself wondering, “Well. How did that happen?” Because, yes, inside I feel at most like I’m in my early 20s. Hell, somedays I might bump that down to about 15 and can’t understand why I have so many bills to pay.
But no. The reason for not loving birthdays anymore was the cancer. Admitting that fills me with such a sense of guilt. The fact that I had cancer and was cured of cancer should make me love life, right? Should make me want to celebrate my birthday even more, right?
Before 2015 and the cancer diagnosis, I would count down for weeks until my birthday. I looked forward to the day. Even when most years the actual celebration was me maybe just taking the day off and going to the movies alone. It wasn’t about parties (because I’ve only had a handful of birthday parties in my lifetime) and it wasn’t about the presents - though obviously those are fun to get.
It was just an uncomplicated joy about having a day where I could be happy about it being about me - even if I was the only one who was aware of the day.
While I can pinpoint the change in attitude to the year I was diagnosed with cancer it’s definitely a mystery as to why the change happened. I don’t know the why of it all. I just know that that particular joy is gone. It makes me sad that what used to be a happy (if silly) time of the year has been replaced by a bit of apathy and a lot of guilt. I tell myself it’s okay. After all, there are plenty of people out in the world who don’t care one bit about their birthdays. It certainly isn’t anything to worry about. I’m not depressed. I don’t dislike my life. Maybe not caring about getting older is just what happens when one is closer to the end than the beginning. I could be completely wrong about it being a result of the cancer diagnosis and it this change in attitude might have happened regardless.
There’s no real way to know.
What I know is that I miss that old excitement. And in 7 years, I haven’t quite figured out how to get it back.