In the years I celebrated my birthday I was battling with depression. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy those parties or simple get-togethers with friends, but lately I’ve been wondering, were they all mere attempts to dull my inner torment. Did I just use the company of my friends to drown out the noise inside my head?
Through the hazy smoke, excited conversations, great food, loud music, and bottles of booze, I’ve been given a pinch of normalcy. I could pretend I wasn’t ill, that like my guests I was happy. For one day I get all the attention that I want. People, even those I barely knew or haven’t talked to in years, greet me on Facebook. Some generous souls bother to buy me gifts. Some would kiss me on the cheek while some would remember to text me. Even when I want to be sad I can’t be sad when all these beautiful things are happening to me. And so in the past few years, I have been – one way or another – trying to throw a party on my birthday. I always tell myself, I only celebrate my birthday once a year anyway, why not make it special. Now I wonder if it’s indeed my birthday that I was trying to celebrate. The more I think about it, the more I get convinced, it’s the fact that I get to be happy on that day that is the real subject of the chase.
This year I still wanted to throw a party, but the intensity of that desire has considerably been reduced. I have decided that I will spend it alone; I had no people to distract me from my thoughts.
Yesterday, I turned 32. I woke up to numerous birthday greetings on my phone and Facebook wall. I went to my favorite cafe, my favorite spot was empty, like the universe reserved it for me. I had cold brewed tea and omelette with toast. I went to the church to give thanks. Then I had dinner with a dear dear friend. Capped the night with coffee.
I have no party. But I am happy.