My birthday was two days ago. It’s been an interesting year. This time last year I celebrated by having a party at my apartment. I spent most of that time wishing I could go in my room, shut the door, and just be alone. Things only got worse from there. I isolated myself, stopped doing my work, withdrew from society, cried a lot. I’ve been depressed pretty much since I started puberty, but last year was one of the worst. There were days I couldn’t even get out of bed. I was empty.
Then, in February, I started seeing a therapist again. I started taking antidepressants. I left my apartment, hung out with friends, became motivated to do things again. For the first time in a long time I felt like a person again. So this year my birthday I went out to dinner with friends, stuffed my face full of pizza and garlic rolls, and came home to wine and cookie cake. It was a great night. It felt kind of like New Year’s, like a clean slate, a fresh start. It felt like a chance to be better.
So here I am. Another year older. Another year wiser. Another year to figure myself out. It doesn’t matter how well we think we knew ourselves. We’re always changing. There’s always something new to learn. This year I plan to listen to myself better. I usually know what I want, but I either have a hard time convincing myself I’m right, or I have a hard time gathering the confidence to go through with what I want. So my goal for the next year is to stop doubting myself and to know that I can both do what I set my mind to and know that I am deserving of the things I want.
I think we take our birthdays for granted. We often see them as excuses to get presents or hang out with friends or get free Grand Slams from Denny’s. But birthdays are more than that. Our birthday is a day to look back at where we’ve been and how we’ve changed, and it’s also a day to look forward to what we can be.
When is your birthday? How have you changed in the past year? What do you want to be?