So I turned 38 yesterday, and it was pretty much just another Monday night in my life. In the birthday pantheon, I'm pretty sure that few people would see 38 as a milestone birthday, myself included. Yet, it was a significant birthday for a not-so-good reason - it was my first birthday after the deaths of both my parents.
It's not like my parents really made a big deal out of my birthday the older I got, but they were my mom and dad and my birthday was still important to them. With neither of them around, I think that my birthday will become less and less significant the older I get, for the time being anyway.
In the past 8 or so years (pretty much after I turned 30), my birthdays really stopped having much meaning for me. With no significant other, any kids and only a small group of friends, my birthday pretty much has become like any other day, except for the fact that I'm now one year older. I neither dread my birthdays like some my age do nor do I look forward to them, either. It's just another day. But I'm not sure how I feel about that.
As someone who claims he prefers to be left alone and doesn't want to be the center of attention, you'd think I'd be happy that no one makes a fuss over me on my birthday. And that is true - to an extent. For all of my protestations to the contrary, I guess that sometimes I would like someone to make a fuss over me. It happened for my 30th birthday - a co-worker decorated my cube with black balloons and a bunch of co-workers and friends helped me celebrate at a local bar that night with lots of beer and way too many shots. It was a great birthday.
Yet, yesterday at work, I didn't tell a soul that it was my birthday. People knew at my old job, but I guess I just preferred that no one knew at my new job. It can be quite a conundrum. Do I want to be the center of attention? Am I desperate to be liked by everyone? I guess the answer to both is "sometimes, yes, but most of the time, no."
And please don't think I'm trolling for a huge birthday blowout. If that were the case, I'd have written this last week instead of the day after my birthday. Believe me, I was very happy for the many birthday wishes I got from friends on Facebook (and much thanks to everyone who did that, by the way). And by the time my 39th birthday rolls around, this will be long since forgotten. And that's okay - I just felt the need to get this off my chest. I mean, that's what this blog is ostensibly for - my mental well-being.
I've just had this weird feeling over the past two or three days (combined with a tinge of loneliness), and I'm hoping that by verbalizing it, I'll be back to normal soon. Of course, with the first Mother's Day after my mother's death looming this Sunday, that could also be a reason for why I've been feeling so uneasy these past few days, but that's to be expected, I think.
I don't know anyone out there who is terribly fond of growing old (outside of your average teenager, I mean). I've always had my toe in the "growing older but not up" pool, but a part of me will always wish I could be 25 again, knowing all that I know now, of course. But that's not going to happen - no matter how many movies are made to the contrary. It's up to me to get over this mini funk and get back on track with my life.
Anyway, enough of this maudlin stuff. In two years I'll be turning the big 4-0, and if I have my way, I'm going to Vegas or the San Diego ComicCon - one of the two. I'm going to celebrate my 40th in style, baby! So, for those of you out there with upcoming birthdays, enjoy them and celebrate them with those who are most important in your life. Someday, I'm going to have someone important in my life whose birthday I can celebrate and vice versa, and frankly, I can't wait.
Let's Go Pens!