Happy Birthday?

by Sneha

Not to sound childish but yes, it’s my birthday month. YAY and ☹  Time to celebrate, be spoiled, enjoy gifts and surprises all while being reminded that I’m getting old. I know, I know, 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30 but every birthday I start thinking, looking back at all the stuff that I still have not done, accomplished, experienced, etc…

So before I start the August depression, I send a reminder to my friends and family and my usual message to everyone is:

Sneha 8-4-1

Is it childish? Is it too much? The answer is NO. In my family, we had some wonderful traditions. Like, mom would make all our favorite foods during our birthday week. We always got a new outfit to wear on our birthday and got to choose everything from activity to dining on the day of our birthday. It was great growing up. But ironically, now that I’m an “adult” and can actually make my own decisions, it’s just not the same. If you don’t know what I mean, think back, when you were 10, you got to sleep in, you ate your favorite breakfast while watching TV (maybe in the living room), you got to choose which friends you took to Mr. Gattis (yes I’ve aged myself) or whatever was cool back then, you got to choose your cake, you could stay up late, go to the movies or just celebrate at home as your wild and crazy slumber party took you into the next day. It was innocent fun; that created pure happiness, laughter and memories; now I’m all grown up and face reality.

Sneha 8-4-2

It is sad how we lose that childish innocence whether it be the excitement of a birthday cake with your favorite character propped up on top, opening a pile of presents or just knowing it’s “your day” that makes each year growing up a milestone. Now instead of being excited of growing up and being a year older; we dread the unavoidable end…..old age. When did that happen? Some say at 21 as that is the last big hoorah for most, but mine was at 25. I can still remember it. I had graduated law school, taken the bar, and just gotten back from a vacation with friends. I remember having to move back home, having no job or prospects; thinking oh my God, is this it? You would think I was going through an early mid-life crisis but I seriously realized this was it. Every year after this would define me, my accomplishments, my advancements, and where my life would lead.

Life isn’t a fairy tale and never does it pan out as you expect, but I am at a place (sort of) where I can say I am grateful, healthy and surrounded with amazing friends and loving family. I am truly blessed and plan to focus more on my personal life journey than I have in the years past. It’s a hard pill to swallow but I’m trying to convince myself that there is more out there than career achievement and advancement. I am a proud Leo who (unfortunately) totally lives up to the definition, so I wish a very happy birthday to all you Leos/August babies out there!

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