I like birthdays.
I just think it's an amazing concept-- that each of us has a day every year when the people who care about us try to make us as happy as possible. Sure, ideally we'd always be expressing to eachother that we care, but in reality, it doesn't happen that way, does it? But instead of just endlessly continuing in the normal state of affairs, there is a special day for each of our friends and one for ourselves, one that comes around once a year. (What timing! Enough space between birthdays to appreciate them, yet there's always a new one ahead, year after year.) A chance to let people feel that they're special to us, and to feel special and cared on our day in turn.
If you can't tell, I just had a really awesome birthday. It wasn't anything big, just a warm sense all day of people thinking of me and trying to brighten my day, of seeing "Happy Birthday Britt!" in IMs and away messages and blogs, and smiling to see people around me putting effort into decorating my room and taking me to dinner and making me a birthday cake and signing my birthday card and celebrating with me.
The insecure voice inside of me was saying, "Wow... all these people seem to actually like you!" Even though that isn't the voice I listen to most of the time, less now than ever before, it's still there, and it's nice to prove it wrong every once in a while. It was whispering to me all week, "No one's going to bother to do anything nice; better prod people into doing things for you, or they won't happen." Quietly, sure, but still whispering. I like to tell myself I've beat it, but taming something isn't the same thing as defeating it. So it was quite nice to feel appreciated and cared for in all the small as well as substantial ways.
see how some people dislike birthdays. They're certainly a risk. If your
day comes around and it's not special, you feel unloved and like you weren't
worth the effort. It's easier to say you don't want it to be a big deal
and try not to expect anything.)
something about people putting in effort to make you happy that is pleasant
and comforting in a way that nothing short of explictly talking about
feelings can be. I need to remember that, and remind myself to fight these
lazy tendencies of mine to put in that effort for other people. But for
now, I think I'll just lie back and appreciate this for a while.
24 January, 2003
Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002