Yep, that would be me. Sigh.
When we were young, we looked forward to birthdays. Birthdays are always happy occasions – cakes, parties, gifts, friends. We simply couldn’t wait till the next birthday celebration.
But as we grow older, more often than not we wish that the birthdays wouldn’t come anymore. We wish that we could skip that particular day and not have to count the years anymore. We wish we could just hide from the world and let the day slip by without anyone else remembering. Or maybe that’s just me. I usually start getting depressed at the start of my birth month – March – and this continues until the very end of the month. I always wished that I could breeze through the days and get to April…fast.
But then the birthday greetings would pour in – and no matter how fervently I wished that nobody would remember my birthday, exactly the opposite happens. Friends and families will never make you forget, hahah. 😉 The only way you could get back at them is to do the same thing to them when their own birthdays come.
Birthdays make me ruminate – I couldn’t help but take stock of how far my life has gone: my accomplishments, failures, achievements. I could be pretty hard on myself whenever I make this annual evaluation. I often go – “What? I’m 3_ already, and I’ve only gone this far?!!” I’m my harshest critic ever. (This has its pluses and minuses.)
I’ve another theory, though, as to why I feel more depressed than happy whenever my birthday comes. Here in Japan, March is the last month of the fiscal year. March is the busiest time of year for those who are wrapping up their studies or finishing their work or scholarship contracts. Consequently, this is also the month for sayonara or farewell parties. Lots of people moving out of Japan and going back to their home countries. And it always breaks my heart to say goodbye to friends who had become dear to me. People come and go…and I stay. There is such a high turnover of people here in Japan. It makes me feel like I’m the only one persisting to be permanent here when everyone else is transient. I feel like a martyr.
But I digress.
Nevertheless, my family connived to do something special for my birthday this year. First of all, I got a birthday card from Aya, on which she wrote the words herself! Then I got a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses from (ehem) Baggy. My sister bought me a new shirt, and she even cooked dinner for us. It was very sweet of them, to make me feel special on my birthday. Even the grouchiest of birthday girls couldn’t help but break out of her doldrums!
A brand new year. (Taking a deep breath) Ok, here we go…