Unhappy Birthday

Birthdays are great. There are presents and cake and everyone is nice to you (hopefully) and it’s usually a pretty enjoyable day. I always love birthdays and this year was no different. I recently turned 18, marking not only a pretty monumental birthday, but also my first birthday away from home. While it was a lot of fun being with friends, there was still something different about it.

First off, the shallow reasons. I am still waiting for birthday cards and presents to come in the mail because being away from home means it takes a lot longer for mail to arrive. Also, it was a bit embarrassing going to the mail room about three or four times in two days, especially when my aunt sent me balloons. The struggle to get balloons from Colonial to Little Building in the wind and rain is real.

Second off, the more sentimental reasons. Being away from family and friends. It’s just not the same to get birthday Skype calls and texts from your family when you’re used to spending your birthdays eating meals and singing happy birthday with them. Though I will admit I thought it was going to be harder than it actually was.

I think the reason I thought it was going to be harder was because in mid September my parents celebrated their birthdays. My parents’ birthdays are three days apart, so there was one week when I had to wish both my parents happy birthday over Skype. An “I love you” was a weak substitute for the hug I really wanted to give them. I sang happy birthday to them over Skype and watched as they all ate cake while I sat alone in my dorm room. On my birthday, it was flipped. They were the ones watching me eat cake on Skype and even though I missed my family, I still had my friends to celebrate with. When it comes to birthdays, it’s all about being part of the action. While it’s hard to be away from family on your birthday, it’s just as hard for them. I suppose birthdays apart are all about communication and understanding. So a birthday that you may predict will be unhappy can still turn out to be a happy one in the long run.

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