Happy Birthday to Me

 


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Why is it every year I have some expectation of what the day of my actual birthday will be like and for some reason, the day never lives up to my expectation? I am thankful that I gets gifts for my birthday and that I celebrate it. Some families don’t even celebrate birthdays, and I am not in one of them. I am one of those people that actually likes to celebrate my birthday on the actual day. If you don’t do this, then your actual birthday is just like any other day, and who wants that when you’re supposed to be celebrating? When I go out to dinner for my birthday, I like it to be my actual birthday, not the closest weekend to my birthday. I want to open my presents on the exact day, not when it is convenient for everyone else to get around to giving me the present. I don’t want to share this day with anyone else; I want it to be special. I know this may sound selfish, but, after all, isn’t that what this day that comes around only once a year is really all about. I really didn’t do anything to be born, it was all up to my parents, yet I am receiving gifts. If it’s not about being selfish, then why do we give presents for birthdays to the birthday person and not the person who actually did the job on that day. . . his/her mom?

Yes, you may be thinking that other people have the same birthday as I. I understand that other people might have the same birthday as I, but how often do we know someone with our same birthday? Not many people do. As it just so happens, I do, but he is a young child of my best friend and doesn’t live in the vicinity of me. I just think we all deserve to have this day set aside to be special. Why is it that many people want their day to be special, but when it is someone else’s birthday, it seems like just another day to us? As you get older, it seems birthdays become less important to everyone except the person whose birthday it is. People begin to acknowledge your birthday by a mere, “Happy Birthday, ” as though it is an obligation, a task, an effort to even utter the two words. You get less presents, parties, and attention. If anything, you should be getting more, because at least when you are older you can truly appreciate and enjoy these things. How many of us remember our 2nd birthday? Or even our 10th? 14th? 19th? What did you do? What did you get? These younger birthdays should be less extravagant. As we get older, our birthdays should just keep getting better and better, as if you just don’t know how it could be topped.

I guess it all begins with the night before my birthday. As long as I can remember, I go to bed that night expecting to wake up changed, transformed, new. Only the most excellent dreams come to me in my sleep, and the next day, the dreams are fulfilled. After that, I expect everyone to be celebrating with me; everyone circling around me showering me with confetti, so the whole day, I feel like a Queen (not that I want people bowing to me). I think the sun rose today, just for me. It continues to shine and sparkle as though it is winking at me and saying, “Jessica, you are a Queen today, and yes, I will make you feel like one. I rose just for you. I am shining, because I know that will make your day that much more special. I am yellow today, because that is your favorite color. Yes, Jessica, you are special, and today is special, because it is YOUR day!” As I go about my day, I want people to glow and smile, knowing it is my day, and doing whatever they can to make it more special for me. Someone has come in my house and there are flowers and balloons everywhere, what a great surprise. I wonder how this occurred without my knowledge. What a fabulous person who did this! I get calls from people whom I talk to very occasionally; but for some reason, every year, they remember my birthday…how thoughtful of them. They remember my birthday, as they know I remember theirs. Everyone wants to take me out and to do fun things that you don’t do on a regular basis, go to a fancy restaurant, have adventures, and participate in spectacular events. The day is most joyful and the possibilities are limitless. I arrive at my house to find a surprise birthday party waiting for me. All of my friends are celebrating with me, having a grand time. In walks the man of my dreams. . . the guy I’ve waited my whole life for. I know it before I even meet him. He is there, and there’s an instant spark and bond, yet he does not consume all my time or thoughts. I am off in the next moment, knowing he and I will meet up later, for we have the rest of our lives. I am mingling with all of my friends, who have heard so much about each other but never met. They meet, and everyone gets along fabulously. Toasts are shared, as are letters from peoples’ whose lives I’ve impacted. It is the wee hours of the morning, and the night is coming to an end. I finally get to bed exhausted from the most spectacular day known to anyone. I know my dreams tonight will be filled with my reality from the day. I fall sleep just to wake up to. . .

My reality. Year after year after year, this never happens. You would think I would learn by now, but I still haven’t. I still go to bed thinking I’ll wake up and “feel” older, wiser, smarter. . . something. I never do. I guess this is where my birthday disappointment begins. To be honest, I don’t recall having any excellent dreams the night before my birthdays. If I do, they’ve never been fulfilled. In all of my birthdays, none of them have consisted of confetti or feeling like a Queen. I know the sun comes up every day, although I can still think, on my birthday, it came up just for me. It did not choose its color, based on my opinion. I have never received flowers or balloons on my birthday, which is sheer tragic. I have longed and desired for a surprise birthday party, but that one still has only happened in my dreams. I remember all of my friends and family birthdays but very few seem to remember mine. If they do, I don’t receive a phone call. I sometimes don’t get to go out to dinner for my birthday. If I do, it is the usual restaurant. The only adventure I’ve had is thinking about the adventure I’d like to have. The last spectacular event I attended on my birthday was. . . well, I don’t remember ever having one. I have never met the man of my dreams, although I still hold out hope. It might be interesting for all of my friends to meet. Have you ever wondered how that would be for all of your friends, whom you talk about with your other friends, to meet? I’ve never received a toast or a letter in any capacity, although the thought is a nice one.

If we all helped other people to really truly celebrate their birthday, and not let it seem like just another day, maybe those people would reciprocate the gesture. That way, you are enjoying more birthdays in a year than just yours. Make someone else feel like a Queen or throw a friend a surprise birthday party. It doesn’t have to necessarily be extravagant. . . on this one, it really is the thought that counts. Put yourself in her shoes. You want someone to throw you a surprise party, so give it to someone else. You know what?! She will feel so great that when your birthday comes, she will do the same for you. After all, she knows how special she felt and wants to pass that feeling along to you. When you give something special, significant, and memorable to someone else, it also generates those feelings in you, which is what matters. You see in her eyes, gestures, smile, and enthusiasm what you have done for her. You have helped her to feel like she is the most important person to you, her friends, and the world. You have allowed her to realize she is a blessing, which is treasured and can never be replaced. You will feel her energy and know that you have given her this tremendous gift. As a bonus, she will reconsider what she does for your birthday when it comes around. She will remember hers, the thought, feelings, emotions, and confidence, and she will put some extra thought into yours, to help you feel like the Queen you should be on your day.

I have never gone to bed on my birthday night exhausted, but in past years, I have gone to my bed disappointed. I am sure now you can understand why. It’s not like my expectations of my birthday are that high, right? I mean, don’t fairy godmothers come to you and make your fantasies come true? I know many people are wondering, like me, where their fairy godmother is. . . especially on a day when it is your special day. I am still waiting for her to arrive…and when she does, my most excellent dreams will be my fabulous reality. This year seems like a good year. Then again, does that mean she will only come once in a lifetime or can she come once a year? After all, it’s my birthday, I’m allowed to be a little selfish.

After earning a bachelor's degree and while earning a master's degree, both in marketing, Jessica Rector began to second guess herself and her career choice. Although she enjoyed this field, she felt her passion was elsewhere. She says, “Although I wasn't sure what it was, I felt there was something missing in the marketing field for me. So, I set out to find what what I really wanted to do. I needed to listen to what my heart and soul were saying to me. " Through this journey, Ms. Rector traveled down paths that allowed her to take control over her life. She had her own television talk show in Los Angeles for two years. She currently spends her time empowering, edifying, and motivating others to live their life to the fullest.

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