February 20th 2018
If you tell what you wished for, it won’t come true~
It is officially my birthday week. I turn 23 in 5 days and it has left me feeling rather nostalgic. Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday (and my nanny’s belated birthday) with my close family. Coming together for my birthday and watching the numbers rise really puts a lot into perspective. I think about where I was 10 years ago, even 5. I remember who I was and what I was feeling every year I blew out the candles, and I realize how different of a person I have become.
My family brought me up on the importance of birthday wishes. I have grown accustomed to the faint taste of wax on my birthday cakes from sitting too long thinking of the perfect birthday wish. This year was no different and I enjoyed a piece of cake with a hint of blue wax from my nanny’s 7 candle. I don’t mind waxy cake if I make good wishes.
Another thing I was brought up on was the superstition that if you tell people what you wished for, it won’t come true. That is a particularly hard superstition for me because I am a bit of a blabber and love to share my hopes, dreams, and wishes with people whenever possible. However, I have gotten good at keeping my birthday wishes to myself. They are like little secrets only I know…although, if you knew me well enough you could probably imagine the things I would wish for.
Today I spent the day going through old home movies, deciding which tapes we would have transferred over to DVDs. We came across one that was roughly an hour long, simply titled “Jessica’s Birthdays” and it recounted my first 6 birthdays. My first pair of roller skates, a fuzzy party hat I hated but wore to make my mom happy, painting pottery, taking my first steps…in the direction of cake, watching my best friend at the time blow out my birthday candles on my sixth birthday….all of these memories have been preserved like little slices of history for me to look back on.
I have always had this weird relationship with birthdays. I love the idea that they are a benchmark for progress and growth. I love that they are a day to simply celebrate life and for those you love to celebrate their place in your life as well. However, I have never really done well with attention. I find birthdays to be a bit overwhelming. I never really know what to do and I am always nervous that people won’t want to see me. I don’t like demanding attention.
However, when I feel overwhelmed by the prospect of birthday activities, I return my thoughts to my wishes and to the 4 year old version of myself who got her first pair of roller skates. I remember that each year, I want to make her proud and make wishes that she would be proud of. I remind myself that birthdays aren’t about cake or presents or parties, but about growth and celebrating life.
And as I silently say my wishes to myself, I remember that I have so much to celebrate.