Birthdays, for me, have always just been an excuse to get all of my favorite people in the same location at the same time. It's selfishly to make myself happy on the one day a year I give myself credit to be a brat (well, almost one day...). A lot of my friends were in different cliques and I knew them all from different places. One group were the kids I grew up with and all hailed from Southern Maryland. I spent time with them from high school throughout college and beyond. There's another group from Southern Maryland that even pre-dates high school. They were my middle through college and beyond crew (with even a few elementary and one pre-school friend included). These two groups were the easiest to blend since they all at least knew OF each other, if not each other directly, so they all were fast friends, once jumbled together.
Amazing corn soup @ firebox
|Delicious fluke @ firebox|
I guess that's partly why this birthday was so difficult. I've never had a birthday in my adult life that I didn't spend with friends. If you ask friends out for a drink or dinner for no reason, they have every excuse in the book as to why they can't make it, and it's perfectly acceptable. If it's missing your birthday, they'd better try their best to make it and show they give a shit. It's the adult version of getting a present for your birthday. You know you have a friend.
When your friends fail to show up, however, you are reminded that things have changed and you will more than likely start comparing your life's path now with how it was a year ago. It's tough to swallow, sometimes, but necessary to accept.
|Meeting Snoogs for the 1st time on my bday|
I have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone (or anyone) is as aware of their actions as I am. I'm hyper-sensitive to what vibes I'm putting out, how I'm treating people, how I react to situations and how everyone else reacts to me, etc. Not everyone is as neurotic, so some people genuinely have no idea that they're affecting you. That's when you learn that you have to be blunt, honest and open. If you don't tell someone that their actions are hurting you, then they will forever say, "how was I supposed to know?" Now there are no excuses. People know what they're doing and what effect it has had on me.
|Flowers from my wonderful cousin|
My mom used to always say that when I was in middle school I would have hundreds of friends, high school, a good amount, college, I'd have 10-20 close friends, and in my adult life, I could count my good friends on one hand. She was, of course, right. I just didn't expect the friends I could count on one hand to be who they've turned out to be. I am grateful each day for those friends and they all made me feel very special on my birthday, and continue to do so throughout the year... you know, like real friends do.
|Bday bracelet from Dan|
So cheers to you, real friends. Cheers to keeping in touch, helping each other through the tough times and being there to celebrate the great times for yet another year. :-D
P.S. All photos from this post were taken on my birthday.