So tomorrow, I turn the ripe old age of 28. One step closer to 30…
Personally, it’s not that big of a deal to me, but then birthdays in general have kind of been a bit of a non-event for me since I turned 21. With each year that’s passed, my “celebrations” have become smaller and smaller to the point that last year I didn’t even bother doing anything with my mates – instead I went out for a meal with mine and my girlfriend’s family (not that that’s a bad thing of course – it was lovely).
I don’t know if this is just a normal process everyone goes through as they get older, but I don’t really see a birthday as much of a reason to celebrate anymore – I mean, after all, I’m just running out of time for me to do what I want to in life.
I’ve blogged about this feeling before where it kind of feels like I’ve hit a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I’ve got to an age now where I feel I should have my own place, have a decent career under my belt and maybe even be considering a family. I haven’t got any of those things right now. I still live in my mum’s house, I haven’t even completed two whole years of full-time work yet and quite frankly, having kids is a much more realistic option in about 5/6 years than it is right now.
I find it pretty hard to put these things to the back of my mind at the most of times, but it’s a particular problem when a birthday comes around. It just gets me thinking whether I’m doing the right thing in life. Do I really have a job I enjoy? Am I following the right career path in general? Why is it that my friends are so much better off than I am?
Under the spotlight
So already, I feel like it’s pretty easy to see why I never treat birthdays as much of a big deal. But on top of that, the general feeling I have on a birthday is that I’m under the spotlight.
“Of course you feel like that, it’s your birthday you doughnut”I hear you cry. The difference is that I feel like most people can deal with being centre of attention from time to time, but unfortunately I HATE that feeling so much that I actively avoid it in all situations.
To me, it’s the same kind of fear as being up on stage. Everyone is focused on you like they’re expectant of something good and you have to entertain them. On top of that, I feel like the birthday person is supposed to be the one getting people to mingle – which I’m not the best at doing because of the fact that I have friends from multiple friend groups. That means that when it comes to creating a guestlist, it becomes this mish-mash of people that have never met before. That just gets me panicking about how they’ll interact with each other. Will the atmosphere be uncomfortable? Will they get on? Is it my fault if they don’t?
Clinging on to my youth
After all of that complaining, I have a confession to make: this year I’ve decided to do something a bit proper and have gathered a small group of us to go to a ping pong bar in London.
Kind of counters my fears right?
Well I’ll tell you why I’m doing something this year: because I want to – and I’m not letting any of the feelings of anxiety that I usually have around this time get in the way. I’ve even gone as far as creating an official Facebook event and invited people to it (shock horror!) – although I did avoid making it for a good two weeks because I was too scared that a load of the people I invited would say they were busy…
As I said, it’s a ping pong bar but it also lets you play beer pong so me and my mates can all try and re-enact our years at university. I’m hoping it’ll just be like old times and from the eight close mates of mine that have already said they’re coming, I’m actually pretty excited that it will be.
Hopefully this will be a year I forget about all the anxiety and just enjoy my birthday!