Anyone who knows me eventually gets the speech about how I hate the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. It's like my good cheer ends every year on November 1st and doesn't really come back until January 1st of the next year. The really weird part, emotionally, is that my birthday is in that timeframe. In a very real sense, I hate my birthday. What does that say about me?
Think about it for a moment. In the US, what does a birthday represent? For the most part, it's a day like any other to the rest of the world. But for you, it's supposed to be a day you take to celebrate yourself. It's an excuse to throw a party, and a day when it's okay for your loved ones to take some action to show that they appreciate your presence in this world and in their lives. So, what does it mean that the bulk of my birthdays have passed with little or no reference whatsoever? And what's worse is the reason why my birthday gets passed over... it's two days after Christmas. Everyone gets caught up in the preparations for Christmas such as: going to their respective homes to celebrate with family, getting presents, arranging the supplies for incoming families, setting up parties, etc. And it's such a huge deal that after December 25th, everyone just needs some down time. So my birthday goes by with little fanfare.
Then, to add a touch of irony, I actually understand the feeling. I've gone through the holiday stress myself. So, I know what people are going through, and over the course of time, I've come to accept it. I don't like it... In fact, I downright despise it, but I've come to accept it. Yet somehow, every year a little tendril of hope starts up in the back of my mind: this year will be different. This year I'll get some recognition. And it never happens. (I'd like to kick the ass of whoever opened Pandora's Box and let hope out. It really is a nasty little bugger.)
For the last couple of years, a couple of my close friends have tried. I appreciate their efforts more than I can conceivably convey to them. Really, I do. But, at this point it's something of a losing battle. Like the rest of the holidays, there's just too much bad history to overcome. In fact, this is one of the core reasons why the holidays are such a trying time for me. (The others are beyond the scope of this posting.) It's a yearly reminder that I don't have the things in my life that most of this society takes for granted. But I'm close enough to it that the sting never really goes away.
I know this sounds like self-indulgent whining, and I can't really disagree. But, that's not what I intend. This is only meant as an explanation of my views towards my birthday. If for no other reason than to not have to go through it with people every year. At the end of the day, I don't hate my birthday (or by logical extension, myself). It's just that with all the bad things that have come with it over the years (as with the rest of the holiday season), the experience has been soured for me.
Today, December 27th, 2009, I turn 33. For those of you who send me good wishes today, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.