I turned 26 last week and I’m not entirely sure how that happened.
One minute I’m having birthday parties in my great-aunt’s social club where so many people are singing the ‘I’m Blue’ song by Eiffel 65 over and over again on karaoke that the DJ is asking that we stop requesting it, the next I’m sat in a posh sushi restaurant discussing jobs and houses.
HOW did that happen?!
For realsies though, this birthday was a weird one for me. Normally I’m a huge fan of birthdays and I will quite happily string out the celebrations to the point where it’s almost 2 weeks later and I’m still using ‘but it’s my birthday!!!!’ as an excuse.
But this one – this one felt different.
I didn’t really want to celebrate it, I didn’t want as much fussing over as usual, and I felt a whole host of emotions throughout the day that I’ve never really felt before towards a birthday.
Is this me getting old? Is this me realising that I can’t be a birthday princess every year?! Hmm. I’m not sure I like the sound of that.
Anyway – while the overarching theme of the day was a positive one, I still had a few rumbles of the sads.
Love & gratitude
The amount of love I felt for those around me this year was overwhelming.
I think birthdays make you realise again just how awesome everyone is in your life, and this year was no different.
I got absolutely spoilt by my friends and family, but I also got so many lovely gifts and well wishes from my new colleagues – which is awesome, considering I’ve only been there a few months and I’m still a relatively new member of the team.
It made me beam with pride that everyone around me is so bloody brilliant and that they’re my friends. Ugh. YOU’RE ALL SO HECKIN WONDERFUL.
Grief & sadness
Sorry to be a bit of a party pooper – but this birthday hit me a bit hard this year.
In March, it’ll be 10 years since mum passed. I just, for the life of me, cannot fathom how that’s come around so quickly. 10 WHOLE YEARS? That’s craziness.
I remember the day like it was yesterday – and I probably always will – but for some reason with this year being a big ‘milestone’, not having her here for my birthday made me really, really sad.
It made me yearn for a card from both my parents, for a meal with both my parents, and for her to give me a big cuddle and joke with me about how I’m now nearly 30 and how I’m getting on a bit, aren’t I?
Someone at some point told me that this whole grief thing gets easier with time, but in all honesty, I’m not sure it does.
Fear & loneliness
There are times – and they’re almost daily occurrences now – that I get hit with the ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE????’ train.
My birthday was no exception to that rule.
26 is a bit of a milestone; you’re now on the downward towards your 30th, and the years between 25 and 30 are probably where some of the biggest life changes will happen to you and those around you. Engagements, weddings, pregnancies, new houses, new jobs, new careers and new directions.
Because of all that, I’m terrified that life is slipping away from me. I’m seeing some of my dearest friends get married, engaged and probably pregnant within the next couple of years, and in all honesty that scares the living daylights out of me. These kinda things always happened to friends of friends, or ‘adults’ that you knew through work or something. Not us.
I can’t help but feel like I want to put the brakes on time a little bit while I catch up to what everyone else is doing.
I also spoke to my dear nana on the phone yesterday and she said that at 26/27, she was married with two kids.
At 26, I have a cat.
Gluttony & guilt
I ate like it was going out of damn fashion on my birthday. And you know what?
I honestly couldn’t have cared less.
I’m trying desperately hard at the moment to lose weight (summer bodies are made in winter!!1111!!!1!11 *eyeroll*) so my daily meals are consisting of porridge, soup, fish, chicken and veg.
It’s all a bit boring, so the moment my birthday rolled around – hooooo BOY. I let loose.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I had throughout the day (please no judgements and sorry to my old personal trainer if you’re reading this):
- porridge (it started off so well)
- a Ripple
- a slice of birthday cake
- a sausage roll
- beef pho noodles
- a Cornish pasty
- mini eggs
- a cookie (I might have even have had two, who knows – I was in some sort of sugary haze by this point which is what I imagine living in Katy Perry’s brain is like)
- mini Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments
- giant chocolate buttons
- a banana (look at me trying to justify everything I’ve eaten so far by having that. Cute.)
- some mango
- a smoked salmon risotto
- a burger with chunky chips and onion rings
- two scoops of vanilla ice cream
I’m not even sure that’s a complete list but what I DO know is that I’m not one bit sorry.
While almost every single thing I ate that day is precisely what you shouldn’t be eating and I now have a tribe of spots on my chin to thank for it, I enjoyed every damn second of it. If there’s a day you’re gonna treat yourself, it may as well be your birthday.
And the next day I was straight back on the soups and fresh fruit and veg, so it’s all about balance, right?!?!?!
Anyway – that’s a little round up of how I felt on my birthday.
I actually had a really lovely day, but it’s safe to say that it was a bit of a rollercoaster. I’ve since picked myself up from being so overwhelmed with everything, I’ve decided to draw a line underneath it all and I’ve started off my 26th year (trying to be) happy and healthy.
So – how do you celebrate your birthdays? Do you feel like this throughout the day or am I a complete alien? 🌚