Today was my last day of being a “kid.” Although I don’t think I’ll ever really stop acting like a kid, let’s just say if tomorrow I decide to steal a 64 pack of crayons with a bonus sharpener and some coloring books you might be able to find me in jail.
Usually, the week leading up to my birthday is filled with anticipation and excitement. On the actual day, everything feels different. For some reason, the day is extra special. When people remember your birthday, you feel loved. When they don’t, you can think of it as your little secret. To everyone else, it’s just another day. To you, it’s “magical.” I put the word “magical” in quotes because as the years go on, your special day becomes less and less special, to you and everyone else. In previous years, I have counted down the days until my birthday. I could not wait. This year, someone asked me to hang out with them on Thursday (tomorrow) and I almost agreed, forgetting it was my birthday. Why does the awesome-ness of the day and the festivities have to fade? What was once something that was looked forward to because it means we are one year older, now becomes a day we dread because it means we are one year older. Why is it so hard to celebrate the year of life that we were so blessed to have lived through and look forward to the ones to come? Sure, maybe it means more bills to pay and more trips to the doctor, but it’s still life. Shouldn’t we be excited about it?
What’s more, we spend most of our lives wishing for the next big thing. When we were in middle school, we couldn’t wait to be in high school. Once we were in high school, we couldn’t wait to get our license. Once we obtained that tiny piece of plastic with that terrible picture of our 16 year-old self on the front, we couldn’t wait to be seniors. Soon we’ll be wishing for that dream job but, eventually, we’ll wish to be back on the driveway of our best friend’s house selling lemonade. We spend our childhoods wishing and dreaming for independence but when reality hits us, we wish to be back at the age where we waited patiently for the big yellow school bus. Today, instead of spending the day doing child-like things, I spent the day getting the house ready for my birthday dinner. Of course it had to be done, but here I was, making a cake in anticipation for my big day instead of enjoying my last moments as a “kid.”
I’ve decided to be okay with this. I guess that’s just how life goes. Maybe next time I’ll remember to stop and smell the roses. Or, in this case, my burnt cake.