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Birthday Blues

·4 mins

Every year, the night of the second of November is dreadful. Neither can I sleep nor can I wake, I don’t feel like doing anything knowing of what lies ahead the next following day. An utterly normal and banal routine day. Nothing’s changed, not the acquaintances that talk to me, not my friends who are on-call with me throughout the day, and not my family. Not that I blame any of them for it, it’s just an ordinary day for everyone. But, I wish it were the same for me.

You see, the Third of November is my birthday, and every year, it’s a disappointment. It’s a day full of wanting, expectations and unrequited feelings for me. I don’t particularly ever enjoy my day, simply because my expectations of it are never fulfilled. Plans that I’ve idealistically made up in my mind for the day go to waste, simply because other people in my life also surprisingly have a life. Expecting them to throw all that away and celebrate my birthday in a joyous manner is a fool’s pipe dream. Yet, I long for prioritization, for selection, for sacrifice. Perhaps it’s because a fool believes their worth is tallied up by how much those around them can sacrifice to attend to them.

The need for attention is so desperate that it’s visible. In every video ever taken of me during my birthday, I’m grinning because I’m finally getting some of that spotlight that I generally don’t bother with. Unfortunately, every video of me till date has only stoked my body dysmorphia and seldom my fancy. Videos with me grinning, smiling or embarrassed only seek to trigger my self-loathing and self-deprecation. I don’t look good, my actions are awkward, and the video itself reminds me of how despair I was in during that particular day. People did not cancel plans, and what that correlates to in my simple neanderthal brain is that they have better things to do rather than attend to me. Thus, demoralizing my venture into a portrayal of stupidity, and my worth that was initially held up by a silver platter to be thrown into obscurity from statements uttered by those that I seldom would sacrifice my time for.

This year’s birthday wasn’t too bad though, I went in with no expectations and no phone calls. Despite so, I stayed awake till the witching hour in the hopes that someone would call, keeping myself busy by constantly scrolling through Twitter threads about the Birthday Blues, and how I’m not the only one suffering from this ailment of the mind. I did receive a call half past midnight by a friend of mine. I hesitated for a bit, spinning up an inner monologue on whether lifting this call would end up with an awkward conversation, comprising of a simple greeting and a goodbye to finish up on the underwhelming conversation, but in the end, I picked the call. To my surprise, it was not a boring call and I did end up talking a bit more naturally, and I even did enjoy myself, which was quite the outlier in my expectations.

Despite the moon still being out, my day did grow brighter. After ending the call, I subsequently received a text message from another close friend of mine. We made a bit of conversation before I logged off from the internet for the day and managed to shut my eyes successfully, because at the very least, there were at least a few person who cared.

The following day was barely considered eventful. I responded to a few texts and some calls wishing me a good day ahead or whatever was left of it. I tried my best to contain myself from wishing for more, and managed to do so successfully. But, I figure that perhaps the entire reason that I was able to garner enough strength to forbid myself from falling into a spiral of self-loathing was that one call late at night that wasn’t a formality.

Wishing someone goodwill on their special day was never a thing that I’ve considered to make a difference since everyone simply responds with a lackluster thanks. But, now that I look back on it, perhaps each one of us dilutes our expectation of the day and the people involved in it, simply so as to not feel too disappointed with how the day goes. I think I’ll call more people on their birthdays now. I wouldn’t wish the birthday blues on my worst enemy. No one deserves such loneliness.