I turn thirty-six tomorrow. Having a birthday on a holiday is weird. When I was really young, I briefly thought the parades in our small town were just for me. It didn’t take my parents long to teach me that wasn’t the real world. This small town also happens to be in the bible belt. A Halloween birthday must have meant I was a witch, or evil, or whatever was amusing to the masses at the time. I was already a “weird kid” so it fit their rhetoric perfectly.
I eventually embraced the weird stigma of being born on Halloween as a teen. I decided it was something kinda quirky about me. An interesting conversation starter at best.
I never had the kind of family that did parties, or celebrated with other people. I remember one actual birthday party when I was in the fourth grade. I earned so many Book-It points in school that I earned a free pizza party at Pizza Hut and my grandmother arranged it and we just hid it from my father. If that doesn’t speak volumes about my childhood, I don’t know what would.
Once I had kids, it wasn’t about me. I always had so much fun dressing my first son up for Halloween when he was little. I didn’t have to think about my family who didn’t give a shit about my birthday, or my son’s father who didn’t give a shit about my birthday. I could focus on my kid and we would trick-or-treat and everything would be fun and I wouldn’t have to think about it again until next year.
Once my son got too old to trick-or-treat, I no longer had that distraction. He now made plans with friends and activities that didn’t include me. Thankfully, around this rough transition I met my partner, who always tries to make sure I know he’s happy I exist.
That’s what I feel like I have missed out on. When someone wants to celebrate your birthday with you and is genuinely excited about your birthday, that says they are pumped you exist. Like, “Yes! Way to make it through another year! Glad you’re here on this planet with us!” I think a lot of people get that from their family. That’s an opportune time to build a person up and remind them that they are important and special.
I was sitting in therapy last week talking about the apprehension I felt about my birthday and I told her I hated my birthday sometimes because it is a screaming reminder that my parents suck and are probably never going to step up to the plate, and that I have no friends. The more I complained to her, the more depressed I got about it.
She let me vent for a bit and then simply asked me why I didn’t just do something for myself on my birthday. It kind of left me speechless while I had to be honest with myself. I realized I have always just found it easier to resent them for being shitty parents than it would be to actually do anything about it.
This fell in line with the self-care that I struggle with. She was right. I should just do something for myself. I should speak up at home about how I want to spend my day, rather than pout and resent my family for not reading my mind, like some played out TV mom trope. It isn’t easy for me to ask for what I want, because I struggle to believe I deserve anything good. But what better day to practice than my birthday?
It is a perfect opportunity for me to feel closer to living an authentic life. So, much like I had to look inward and ask myself what my ideal life looks like, I tried to scale it back and think about a day where I can do anything I want to do.
What did I want to do on my birthday? I want to do something that will make me feel good about myself. I want to feel sexy and beautiful and feminine. So, I asked my partner if we could do a few photo-shoots that really focused on me. Voicing that wish, and having it met with approval and excitement set the ball of birthday debauchery in my head.
I want to feel like a princess on my birthday. I want to embrace that baby doll side of me that gets taken care of and pampered because I take such good care of everyone else every other day. I want to try and celebrate me. I want to take a long, bubbly bath with wine and music and read something sexy. I want to get to know myself better. I want to spend the day with the people I love who love me back. I want to grow a little.
It finally dawned on me that just like most other things, this was almost entirely within my control. That may sound obvious and silly to some, but for someone who is just now learning that I matter too, that’s a big damn deal to me.
I even made a wishlist on Amazon in case any of you beautiful people wanna make sure I have some sexy gifts!
Here is to a sexy, loving, fun Halloween!