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Experiences

Birthday Thoughts

I’m one of those people who are not particularly fond of celebrating their own birthday. I love preparing and sharing birthdays of family, friends, colleagues, but I often find it challenging to spend my own birthday (un)reasonably and happily. After all, it seems just another day of our life, doesn’t it? And if someone should celebrate, it should be the parents. That’s what I thought. There were quite a few years in which what I wanted most on my birthday was to spend it on my own just like any other day. Social pressure didn’t let me do quite that, but I was successfully minimizing the widely accepted need to celebrate.

Happy Birthday cat

Author: Dwight Sipler; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons

In the course of the years it became clear to me how selfish it is not to let other people share my birthday and bring in a piece of happiness into it, be it in the form of good wishes, a joke or a present. I love doing that for other people, so why wouldn’t I let them play a role in my birthday?

This year I shared my birthday at work and in the classes I teach in my spare time. And you know what, it actually felt good to see so many smiles and so much gratefulness for having shared something personal, something genuine. Returning looks and comments didn’t feel like a burden, just the opposite – it was a good way to connect on a human level and continue building bridges replacing prejudice or misconception.

What remains most valuable to me on this day are the people close to my heart who touched me with their wonderful words, good wishes, and thoughtfulness. To all of you…
… who make this day and so many more unforgettable;
… who make me smile, laugh and cry for joy;
… who share genuinely and listen carefully

please know that you make this often ambivalent and challenging journey meaningful and remarkable. I’m deeply grateful for you and I hope I can give back to you at least as much as you give me. Today it’s your day as much as it’s mine. Thank you!

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About irinapashina

Marketing professional, blogger, group fitness instructor, reader, theater-goer

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