This post became an inspiration after I recently celebrated my birthday. For over 10 years, I never wanted to make a big deal out of my birthday- and I still don’t. This year was different in a “you don’t have to make a big deal out of it, but you do have to celebrate your life” kinda way.
I was bestowed with self-instigated changes when I moved across the country from NYC to Santa Fe with no friends, no family, not even a job. My heart was calling for me to make the drastic transition and uproot my life. So, I listened. And it’s been a whirlwind of changes since moving. Not good, not bad. Vastly different. It’s been one hell of a ride and I’m loving it.
Back in NYC, I was so fixated on having the right job and not focused on friendships or spending time with my family. It’s such a hustle and bustle way of life, that you easily forget the importance of quality. Quality to me was having a closet full of designer duds.
Not that I was the most materialistic of people, but I didn’t place as much value on family and friends. I couldn’t even sustain friendships for long periods of time because wherever the next job took me, I forgot about the old and brought in the new. Therefore, friendships only lasted a few years at most.
Celebrate your epiphanies
Moving to Santa Fe taught me to not only cultivate new and meaningful relationships with those I connect with on a deeper level, but to nurture them more than I was doing back in NYC. In the process of this, it made me realize that with my birthday, I had a due diligence to nurture me too. And not by buying myself an extravagant gift.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for self-care and indulging in one’s self, but there was always a part of me that felt it was narcissistic to make such a big deal out of your own birthday. Having worked in the hospitality industry my entire life, I saw the extremes of what people would do for themselves and quite frankly, thought it to be so absurdly ridiculous. Seeing the way people acted on their own birthday with a sense of arrogance and entitlement was such a turn off, that I vowed to not act in that way.
Don’t allow external influences to be your guiding force
Essentially, I went birthday celibate. And it became a disservice to myself in doing that. If people wanted to go out and celebrate a birthday, I always said no. My birthday was my time to myself. So, I always did something. And I’ve created some really magical experiences, but there was always something missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until recently.
Experiencing the culture and lifestyle here in Santa Fe has shifted my paradigms so much that I can barely remember the person I was eight short months ago when I moved. I see things from a whole different lens. Again, not good and not bad. Vastly different.
I had robbed myself of celebrations because of my ethos and my disdain towards the way I saw people act. Just because others acted in a rather embarrassing and egotistical manner didn’t mean that I had to abstain from any birthday celebration at all. But, I wound up boycotting my happiness instead.
Celebrate yourself without spending a ton of money
While I was creating experiences for myself, I was buying them. That was the unevolved New Yorker in me. I’m not by any means saying that New Yorkers lack substance, that’s how I was. I saw purchasing memories as a way of life. Because those were my values. Santa Fe taught me differently. Santa Fe showed me to find the appreciation in the simple pleasures.
So, this year I went to my favorite bakery and bought nutella bread. It’s chocolate and carbs- really doesn’t get any better than that! And I bought birthday candles for it. Four candles in it- one for the Universe, one for my deceased love ones, one for my family and friends and the world, and one for me.
I would have never in the past lit candles for myself to celebrate my life, let alone for others on a birthday. And you know what? It felt so fucking awesome to do that. Not to just bask in the glory that I’ve been blessed with so many beautiful years on this Earth, but everyone else who deserves to be celebrated and acknowledged.
Find the magic in celebrating yourself
That’s where the magic is. When you can find appreciation for yourself. And not a pseudo sense of it. Not buying that happiness to celebrate your birthday. But to really create an experience that costs about two bucks.
Your birthday doesn’t have to be a lavish experience filled with debauchery. What your birthday needs is for you to enjoy yourself. Celebrate yourself. Take a moment of reprieve to be in awe that you’re alive right here and now. That you have the life that most people would love to have if they had the means for it. Your birthday needs your attention to the one life that you have to live.
Fill it with experiences and memories that an older version of yourself would be damn proud of. Even if your birthday is nowhere in this time frame of reading this, find a way to celebrate yourself.
And if you can’t find any reason to celebrate you and your life, then take a quiet moment of reflection to ask yourself why you can’t find the happiness in yourself. Your life is meant to be lived according to how you choose to live it; not societal’s expectations of you. Maybe that’s where your unhappiness is stemming from-that you’re not listening to what you truly want and desire. In taking the safe approach, you’ve chosen to follow the status quo.
That’s ok. As long as your self-aware, you can always fix it. And you can even choose to celebrate your epiphany. Any form of relishing you and your life is worth it for your own personal development and self-love. The more victories and blessings that you can find will bring you closer to yourself and mitigate the minutiae of life. The smaller things dissipate to the wayside and the larger things become more controllable.
If anyone looks at you as an aberration for blazing your own trail, they’re not in the right mind frame. I mean, who would tell you not to listen to your inner guidance and follow life according to how you want it to be created for yourself?!?
Count your blessings. Find the gratitude in your life. Fill it with peace, joy, and love. Where love goes, abundance flows. Believe in yourself enough to celebrate yourself.
How do you celebrate yourself? Let me know in the comments below.
Please share this with anyone that can benefit from this.
See ya soon.
In the meantime,
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