Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: birthday

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry (or not) if I want to

It’s my birthday today (yesterday by the time you read this), and I have a history of hating my birthday. As a kid, it was always fraught with who to invite to my party (which I was expected to have), and it only underscored what a loser I was. I remember one birthday (but not which one) in which I had friends over. I was blowing the candles out on the cake with all my friends watching, and I was utterly miserable. I felt like they were there because they felt they had to be (my depression started young), and I hated being the center of attention if I wasn’t on the stage.

In my twenties, I actively hated my birthday. I refused to say when it was, and I preferred to pretend it didn’t exist. It reminded me every year that I was still alive and that I shouldn’t be. I got really bitchy* a week or two beforehand, and it carried over for the next few days.  I don’t think I can emphasize enough how toxic I thought me being alive was in those days. I thought I was actively harming the world by being alive (which is the weird egotistical part of having a low self-esteem–an outsized sense of impact–and I hated that I was too cowardly to kill myself.

It’s strange how my twenties were when I was both at my most depressed and when I was out doing the most things. I was involved in the theater community, which was probably one of the best experiences of my life. However, I stopped once I moved to the Bay Area for a short time (to get my MA), and I never started up again once I returned because I had a few big issues to deal with at that time.

I became less hateful of my birthday in my thirties. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I would never offer it to someone else, but if they asked, I wouldn’t obfuscate and refuse to answer. I never made a big deal about it, but I didn’t freak out if someone else brought it up.

Side Note: My amusing birthday story. When I first started Facebook, you had to provide your birthday, and they displayed it. There was no privacy option at the time, so I used a fake birthday. I always do this online. I may not care about my birthday, but I don’t need others to have it. Anyway, I set it as one day in January, and I promptly forgot about it. When that day came around, my FB wall was flooded with birthday wishes. I was like, “What the–oh, right.” FB will still wish me a happy birthday every year on the fake day, and it’s still hilarious to me. Thankfully, now the setting is private so I don’t have to explain to everyone that it’s not actually my birthday.

Two or three years ago, I slowly realized that I didn’t hate my birthday or even really dislike it that much. I mentioned it casually and didn’t feel weird about it. Last year, I actually bought myself a piece of (gluten-free/dairy-free) cake and enjoyed it thoroughly. That’s because cake is the best, even when it’s a lie. Today, I ate a banana walnut chocolate chip (GF/DF) muffin, which was delicious. I will have GF/DF ice cream later and call it a day.

Not gonna lie. I still don’t love my birthday. I don’t dislike it, but it still brings with me the feeling of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.


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You Say It’s Your Birthday; It’s My Birthday, Too!

It’s my birthday–or will be by the time you read this. I’m turning forty-six, which is amazing to me on many levels. One, I never thought I’d make it to thirty, and I passed that a long time ago. Two, time really does go faster the older you get*, and I swear I was thirty-five not more than a year ago. Funnily enough, I don’t feel like I’m in my twenties or younger, but I’ve always felt as if I were an old soul in a young body when I was that age. I related better to older people. I always have, and I probably always will. I should amend and say that I relate best to people with old souls, which sounds pretentious, but I think you know what I mean.

I’ve written before that I hated my birthday for decades because I hated being reminded that I was alive. For years, I was convinced that I should be dead, so every birthday was just a slap in the face. In addition, it reminded me how I’ve contributed nothing to the world at large, so I hated it with every fiber of my being. I wouldn’t tell anyone when my birthday was, and I refused to celebrate it. In a Let’s Play that I recently watched, one guy asked another when his birthday was, and he answered, ‘Summer’. They (the first guy and the third guy of the trio) had to prod him to get an actual date, and when he finally said it, they were like, “Who answers that way?” I immediately thought, “I do!” Or at least I did. If anyone asked when my birthday was, I’d never answer. For online sites that required a birthday, I’d put in a false one. I still do, but now it’s because I think it’s silly to ask for someone’s birthday online.

Side note: You know how on Facebook they notify your friends when your birthday is up? One day in January, I woke up to a wall of well-wishers, and I was like, “What the hell?” before remembering that I’d given a false date for my birthday. I also switched my birthday notification to private because I felt kinda weird being wished a happy birthday when it wasn’t my birthday. This year, on that same date, FB wished me a happy birthday, and I had forgotten I’d given a fake date and was wondering why. When I remembered, I giggled because it was just so damn amusing to me.


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