The beauty of birthdays

“Nine hours, 42 minutes, 42 seconds.” The countdown to a birthday. Another year has ended, and another is ready to begin. I sit up and wait, counting every tick of the clock–nothing but the annual routine.

Today, I turn 16. The sweet year. And yet, it’s the same. 15, 16, just one year apart. Then why the excitement to celebrate just another day? Is it the cute new outfits, the big party to follow, or the freshly baked cupcakes?

Honestly, I don’t really know. Perhaps it’s just the idea that it’s my day, and let’s be real, the presents are an added bonus. There’s no greater feeling than eagerly tearing off the wrapping paper on loads of unnecessary gifts.

Of course, it’s the thought that counts. We’ve all caught ourselves using that phrase from time to time, but with every birthday, we still expect some sort of recognition that it’s ourday, even if it is just a simple hug or kind thought.

I, for one, am guilty of birthday fever. I can’t help the exhilaration, the feeling that I’m on top of the world, and the glorious countdown to midnight. Although some may disregard birthdays, I think they’re one of the most important days of the year.

Besides the fact that there’s an excess amount of food available to eat, birthdays give people a time to value their lives and for others to appreciate the birthday girl or boy. It’s like a personalized Thanksgiving basically.

My birthday. I get a day of special attention–a day dedicated to no one else but me. It’s nice to know that there are people who do their best to make my day exceptional. Though I’m not too keen to admit it, I’m flattered by the heaps of birthday cards and wall posts on my Facebook. I know it takes only a few seconds to write “Happy Birthday” and click send, but that’s a few seconds someone took out of their life for me. And that consideration to me is the greatest present I could receive.

Yet, I’ll admit, despite the perks of celebration, I’m a bit frightened to be a year older. It feels like I’ve barely even lived the past 16 years, and soon I’ll be out of high school, graduating college, looking for a job, and celebrating my 40th in no time. I’m scared to think about how quickly things have changed and will continue change.

Simply thinking about the future, I have no idea how I’m going to deal with everything to come. I don’t feel I’ll ever be ready and my birthday just reminds me of how unprepared I still am. I’m a year older, but I’m still the same person, hoping that the next year will bring me a step closer to whatever it is that I’m supposed to achieve.

All things aside, I’m glad I’ve managed to make it through another year. At least I know there’s something sweet about my 16th.

Originally published on Harker Aquila.

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