sweet 16 group picture

Do You Cry on Your Birthday, or Are You Normal?

Every 365 days we are reminded of the greatest gift our parents will ever give us—the gift of life. Even more special than that, is that from this day forward, you are bound to the day the calendar reads when you took your first breath—and that is worth celebrating.

Anyone who knows me knows that I believe that birthdays are made to be celebrated as if they were a national holiday. And today, as my friends and I are beginning to turn 19 and 20, I have indeed normalized exactly that. Though they tend to make fun of me for my “obsession” with celebrating birthdays, every year I buy a new crown and sash to be passed down to all my girlfriends as the year goes on. One of my first questions upon meeting new people is: “When’s your birthday so I can put it in my calendar?” Once it’s in the calendar, you’re in trouble because you are officially on the list of people that will get crowned and sashed come your special day. You should also watch out for a balloon, flowers and definitely one of those very fancy, well thought-out birthday posts on every possible social media platform.

Cake with lit candles Photo by Ami Suhzu from Pexels

The only thing I love more than my own birthday is my friend’s birthdays. However, at around birthday 12, I realized, not everyone loves their birthday as much as I do. In fact, several of my friends hate their birthday and the mere thought of it constitutes tears and upset. To me, there is something magical about having a day to celebrate the beginning of your time here on earth. (Of course, there are hundreds of people that share the same birthday, but that’s beside the point.) For some, the magic of their birthday dwindled when it just became a reminder of getting older. For others, birthdays have always been more or less just a regular day that maybe gave them an excuse to have a slice of cake. 

With all that being said, here are three reasons why you should never go uncelebrated on your birthday:

1. You only have one life. 

The average woman lives to about 81.1 years old, which means you only have—give or take—like 81 birthdays to celebrate. Life is too short and too sweet to not make a big deal about it. It’s easy to fall out of a self-care routine and forget about making time for yourself, so once a year you are gifted with a day to be perfectly selfish. It’s okay to let loose and have some fun celebrating the life you live—besides, maybe you’ll get a cupcake or a gift card out of it. 

2. Major main character moment.

I never feel more like the main character than when I’m walking around school or pull up to dinner and everyone, including people that I hardly know, wishes me a happy birthday. Or when I wake up and my face in pictures from 10 years ago is plastered all over Instagram and Facebook, simply to wish me well. Also, I feel like we should normalize women wearing crowns?? Just me? Okay.

3. All the free things you get.

I think the only people that understand this obscure passion of mine, are all the places that give you free stuff on your birthday. Starbucks and Dunkin’ will give you a free birthday coffee. For my makeup gurus, Sephora has a birthday gift waiting for you. Want a frosty? Free from Wendy’s. Want a happy meal? Free from McDonald's. Honestly, hitting up all the places to get free things sounds like a great way to celebrate your birthday to me. 

The bottom line is, regardless of what your birthdays growing up looked like, I am here to tell you that you are worth being celebrated and reminded that your presence in this life is no small notion. Now go get yourself a crown, throw on a cute outfit and walk around knowing that you are the birthday queen. 

P.S. To all of my fellow Aquarius babies—happy birthday!

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