Yesterday was my birthday. I was 28. I had a really special weekend & a lovely time on the day itself too. Yet when a friend asked me this evening ‘What did you do for your birthday?’, I said ‘Oh nothing really’. Why? Well, I’ve just written a really long & elaborate response to this: about how I always feel the pressure to ‘do’ something for my birthday (Not had a mammoth night out or a weekend away or spent tons of cash on some pre-packaged experience? What kind of loser are you?); the way I feel I need to prove my popularity & self worth by organising some kind of social event (‘Look, I do have friends!’); my general ambivalence towards the occasion (the tension between wanting to celebrate in some way but not to make a fuss or place demands upon others); the absolute loveliness of the previous three days & the various things that have stood out from that time (a day trip to somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, a meal with my parents, visits from friends & family who live nearby, many lovely cards & gifts, many other moments of connection). Then I deleted the lot. On purpose. The post lost the spirit of my birthday. I didn’t organise or plan any of things that happened – they were all spontaneous or last minute decisions. In contrast, the post felt contrived. It didn’t capture the simplicity, the beauty, the love, the authenticity that I have been feeling. I have truly had a birthday of my own.

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