Birthdays are a lot of Things

Celebrating birthdays can be a joy or a curse to some people. Some people hate their birthdays and some love that they’re celebrated for a day. And that’s only amplified more right now, with COVID-19. 


I’ve always felt fairly neutral to birthdays. I wasn’t ever overly ecstatic about it, but definitely never hated it. My birthday was last week, and this time I wasn’t neutral toward it. I was honestly dreading it. I had classes and work during the day, and at the time, had no plans made for after with anyone. It was hard knowing that I couldn’t really celebrate in a way I would have enjoyed -- going out to dinner or for drinks, having all my friends together to hang out, or just not being at home. My family was hours away, and because of COVID-19, being around a group of people outside my immediate home wasn’t safe. 


The hardest part was (and is) the lack of human interaction. Humans are meant to interact with one another. We’re meant to share meals, stories, laughs, and tears with one another. Birthdays are meant to be a way to do that. But because of our lived experiences, birthdays aren’t always a positive thing for folks. For some, it may be a really difficult day. Birthdays are meant to be a way to celebrate, but they’re not the only way. 


We have to find ways and make time to celebrate our lives, in whatever way makes us most comfortable. Especially now, while we all face COVID-19, while there is drastic climate change and racial inequity and injustice, and while we are so unsure of our futures. We have to make time to celebrate a fun movie, or a game night with roommates. It’s really hard right now, there’s no denying that. But if we only focus on the uncertainty of our futures, we’ll dig ourselves into a pit of despair. We can’t know for certain the future, and while we can work right now toward a future we want, we have to build in time to take a step back, relax, and celebrate. 


You get to pick what you want to celebrate. It doesn’t have to be a birthday. It can be that you cooked yourself a nice meal or that you went on a walk around your neighborhood. But find that one thing you enjoyed today, and celebrate it.