Day 149

28 May

My birthday is this coming Saturday.  And it’s weird.  I used to be so excited for my birthday; I loved the chance for celebration and having cake and getting presents.  I also just love that feeling of time passing; another year come and gone and now only the future remains.  Now, though, maybe it doesn’t feel so fun to see time moving forward.  Or maybe it’s just that celebrating gets to be more difficult the older you get.  Or maybe I’ve just become too cynical in my (nearly) 25 years.

But back to the presents.  I love them.  All the time.  If you’re at all familiar with “the five love languages“, one of my biggest ways of feeling loved is through gifts.  Even very small, seemingly meaningless gifts are special to me.  I think it’s because it’s one of the only ways that I’ve ever felt love from my family.  Gifts on birthdays; gifts on Christmas; baskets at Easter; care packages; money tucked in cards just because.

My first year of college, I went to Ball State University.  I had a really hard time adjusting (in part because I had an INSANE roommate to start with)– I really just don’t transition well and those times of transition are almost always a time of depression for me.  But my mom would send me gifts of fruit and candy, sometimes just snacks like microwaveable popcorn; and I knew she was trying to tell me what she hardly ever actually vocalized:  that she loved me and wanted me to be happy.  That she cared about me.

It didn’t alter my life much, as I transferred at the end of the year anyway, but I felt good getting each gift, each surprise.  And sometimes she still sends me cards in the mail even though we live about 10 minutes apart now.  And she still gives me gifts.  And those are some of the few, fleeting moments where I feel like I know, I just absolutely know that she does love me.

And so my birthday.  My birthday is one of those times where I get to feel loved by people for certain.  I know you care about me because you take the time to choose a gift just for me; something special you think I’ll enjoy in some way.  Even if it’s not special at all; even if it’s just some small token.

And so my birthdays are less and less enjoyable because less and less people give you gifts as you grow older, I guess.  Which makes sense; I have fewer tangible wants.  A Sony Walkman isn’t going to blow my mind.  I don’t really want another Gameboy.  But I am still a gift-oriented person.  So sometimes that sucks because presents speak love; and no presents speak no love.

It’s just another part of growing up and older and on.  Dealing with a sense of loss and wondering what will replace that desire, if anything.  Maybe one day I’ll simply be happy with nothing.  But probably not.

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