I Never Want to Start Hating My Birthday

When you’re little, your birthday is the best thing that happens to you all year. You get a whole day filled with presents, attention, and the ability to boss people around (though, as an only child, I had many days where I bossed everyone around) and it’s pretty magical. Yet, as you age, birthdays seem to lose their charm. Suddenly you’re focused less on the theme for your party and more about “Oh God, I’m turning ____. I’m old. This is depressing.”

My 25th birthday is a few months away, and I’m afraid that I’m nearing the end of “WOO my birthday is coming up!” and approaching the era of “Ugh. My birthday is coming up” soon to be followed by “I’m celebrating my 25th birthday. For the eighth year in a row.” There will be no denying it: I’m in my mid-twenties. No longer a recent grad, just a grown up like everyone else.

This makes me nervous.

I’ve always loved my birthday, and I don’t want to get to the point in my life where I start hating it. I keep reading the quote, “Don’t fear growing older, as it is a privileged denied to many.” I try to keep this concept in mind, but I can’t help but get nervous about entering a world where I need to buy wrinkle reducing cream, and dates with friends include bringing kiddos along. I still feel like I’m in high school. I don’t think I’m ready to be at that point in my life yet.

I guess birthdays signal the passage of time, and this makes humans nervous. We’re afraid that we’re going to run out of time to do all of the things we want to do over the course of our lives. As another year passes, it reminds us that we’re getting older and don’t have an unlimited amount of days. We worry that we’re losing the opportunity to move or make a career change or fall in love. I’m realizing that while it’s important not to waste time being unhappy or hesitating to go after what you want, you also can’t let the fear of getting older prevent you from enjoying the present moment.

I recently found this quote and really like it:

timerunningout

I’ve been trying to keep this in mind as I approach the big 2-5. Though I may not like the sound of being in my mid-twenties, it’s less about age and more about how you feel. If you’re working toward your goals and getting it figured it out, there’s no need to get nervous about timelines. As Aaliyah once said, “Age ain’t nothing but a number,” right? I’m trying not to let my age stress me out, and I definitely don’t want to become a person who dreads their birthday. Come on now, birthdays are the best!

Do you ever get nervous when your birthday approaches? Are you afraid of getting older? How do you overcome it? 

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Comments

  1. Hello Lauren. I enjoy your blog and wanted to add my two cents worth to your “fear of aging” entry. As a two-time cancer survivor, and someone twice your age, you’ll find that unless you give up on your dreams, as so many do the older they get, the older you get the more you want to accomplish before it’s too late. As a friend of mine once said, “Anytime you wake up on the top side of the grass, it’s a good day.” There are so many people I used to know who are no longer with us. Many young people never get the opportunity to grow old due to situations beyond their control.
    Live life to the fullest. Enjoy the fact that you are still so young and the world is your oyster. You have so much promise and the world is a better place with you in it. Any time you feel “old”, talk to your parents, visit a retirement community, talk to your former professors or mentors. You’ll find that age truly is a matter of the mind. Even at my age, I still have so much more energy than a lot of younger people my age, perhaps because I still think of myself as in my 30’s. Sure I’ve got some aches and pains I didn’t have when I was actually younger, but I still have much to accomplish and the Grim Reaper will have to take me dragging my heels all the way.
    To answer your last question, I don’t get nervous about my next birthday. I don’t really think about it because I’m as young as I feel no matter what the chronological calendar says.
    With much respect,

    Hondo

    When you can’t run anymore, you crawl… and when you can’t do that —
    You find someone to carry you.
    Firefly—“The Message”

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