In a few days, on September 16th, I am turning 34 years old. I’ve always had mixed feelings about my birthday. Part of me is glad that I’ve made it another year and another can’t stand birthday.
Social media makes it easier for everyone to receive birthday wishes. All one has to do is make sure their birthday is viewable to all of their friends and that friends have permission to post on your wall. The ease of receiving birthday wishes is good but also annoying. Most of the posts aren’t genuine, and family and friends will write on your wall instead of texting or calling you. There is joy in receiving so many wishes, but at the same time, it is questionable about the number of people that genuinely care about your birthday.
I haven’t celebrated my birthday in about 8-10 years except for the small celebrations provided by my co-workers over the years. All of the challenges I’ve faced in my life haven’t deemed my birthday worth celebrating. As a child, my parents would have a party, but a cake, buy presents, etc. As an adult, I’m responsible for putting something together if I want something for my birthday.
My family and friends no longer plan things for birthdays. My family stopped celebrating birthdays many years ago. At this point, I don’t care about celebrating my birthday. Most of the social media birthday posts aren’t genuine, and family and friends are too busy to celebrate. I was told that if I wanted a birthday cake, I should purchase one and invite someone to share it with me since I have the means to buy it. Yes, I have the means, but isn’t the point of someone else wanting to celebrate your birthday to the necessary items for the celebration. I might as well by a cake any day of the year and call it my birthday. I’m sure plenty of strangers would be excited about a free party and food.
As an autistic person, birthdays are complicated. I absolutely don’t want a big party. All I’d like is a small get together organized by people, family, friends, or anyone else that genuinely cares about me. Autistic people have zero tolerance for fake people and BS. I’d greatly appreciate any celebration that came from the heart.
On my birthday, I’m sure I’ll receive a crapload of Facebook birthday posts, some direct messages, and some text messages and phone calls. Most of the messages won’t be genuine. I will always appreciate the messages from those that I know genuinely care about. I’ve thought about removing my birthday from Facebook to avoid the disingenuous messages, but I figured I’d let it go this year.
I know I’m very cynical about my birthday, but I hope that maybe I’ll be wrong this year. My partner bought me a pair of Apple AirPod Pros, which was super sweet and genuine. Perhaps I’ll get some more gifts from family and friends. I’ve lowered my expectations to the point where as long as my day isn’t crappy and decent, I’ll be okay.
Cheers to another birthday.