Birthday B.S.

My chest is on fire.
No one is going to show up.
I’m embarassed and ashamed.
I feel like the only person at the loser table in a high school cafeteria.

Birthdays have always been a little bit uncomfortable and weird for me but this year, I have more anxiety and stress than I ever have before.

When I was little, my mom threw a few really awesome parties for me and my friends to celebrate. When I turned 7, I distinctly remember forcing everyone to sit in a circle in the living room and watch me dance. I had a blast but was definitely offended when a few kids who just wanted to run around left my performance early.

In high school, birthdays weren’t a super huge deal, but my friend group had a tradition of going to dinner and splitting the bill for the birthday person’s meal. In college, we partied and decorated each other’s dorms rooms and partied some more.

Now I’m a full grown adult literally crying about my birthday.
I HATE planning, I’m afraid no one really cares about me enough to show up, and I think of fun ideas too late to make them happen.

And to be blunt, I’ve noticed that people in L.A. have a hard time showing up for each other. People are busy, yes, but I think it’s more a social anxiety thing.
or commitment issues.

Whatever it is, it’s a fear that is more important than friends.

It’s been a real struggle finding people that are consistent, and real and that show up.

Last year for my birthday, I went on a hike with my roommates because no one showed up, except for the guy that had a crush on me who brought me flowers (He’s my boyfriend now). I once had a house warming party that started at 7pm but people didn’t show up until 10pm. Same thing happened to my friend a few weeks ago.

So I was going to lay low because I know it’s hard to gather people together. It truly takes a lot of work – especially 3 days beforehand.

So this year I thought about just using it for a self-reflection/Spa day or something. BUT then people said “You should do something fun!” “Don’t be alone!! Be with your friends!”

UGH the truth is that I DO want to be with people. I don’t need to be treated like a queen or anything but I want to feel loved by people that I love. (In a tangible way) So I came up with an idea to go sailing for sunset. I’d only need 5 people to join me.

I started extending invites.

And I started getting replies…
Most of them are out of town this weekend.
Some have work and can’t make the sailing time.
Some said they needed rest and weren’t interested in going out.

Only one said “YES!!” (My roommate)

I worked through a list of 15ish people and everyone said “Sounds fun but sorry I can’t!”

And that sucks.

I don’t care what your excuse is – all of them were valid and understandable – but it still hurts to be rejected.

It takes vulnerability and courage to extend an invitation, so it still hurts to hear an “I’m too tired” from people you care about and want to celebrate with.

On top of that, the sailing cruise got booked. I was scrambling to find a new time – messaging the captain to find out another option but that stressed me out.
What’s the point if no one can join me anyway?

So I give up.

Instead I’m frustrated, banging my fingers on a damn keyboard and feeling all the feelings that I WANTED TO AVOID by just taking the day for myself.

….Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on it. Celebrate on another day, what’s the big deal? I definitely want to do dinner and maybe a small house party when people are back in town next week, but I believe that there should be something to celebrate the day of. Something small, filled with joy.

Some people say they don’t care about birthdays and I kind of wish I could be like them…But I think “not caring” just a defense mechanism.

I think someone who doesn’t care about birthdays is someone who used to care a lot about birthdays but doesn’t anymore because they got nail files & hand sanitizer for their sweet sixteen (true story).

And I admit my aversion to birthday celebrations has hindered me for showing up for others. And that’s shitty. And if I haven’t shown up for you because of my own fears, I’m sorry. I want to be a better friend.

I want to show up for people because that, to me, means the most.

So on Friday, April 5th, don’t just tell me “happy birthday” – show up for someone you care about. Bring someone lunch, buy someone flowers, give the people you love a hug. Congratulate people on their wins, sit with people in their pain, stop rescheduling the coffee date and just commit.

On April 5th, I want you to SHOW THE FUCK UP.
That’s what I want for my birthday.

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