Art by Madeline Duvall
Turning 22 is not as fun as Taylor Swift makes it seem. It’s not really an exciting birthday, especially compared to 21. If anything, it may feel like the first boring birthday of one’s adult life.
My birthday was on Feb. 8 and leading up to it, I found it hard to get excited. There were a variety of reasons why: It’s expensive, the world’s turmoil is constantly putting a damper on me, and the classic, I’m busy — all good reasons to discourage any sort of celebration or attention-seeking effort. But even as an adult in this crazy world, it’s important to acknowledge one’s birthday, reflect on the year that passed and have a little fun for goodness’ sake.
Sixty-four percent of Americans say it’s not important to celebrate their birthday, according to a 2015 market research study by Ipsos Reid. However, the same survey found that 9 in 10 Americans say it’s important to celebrate loved ones’ birthdays. If loved ones are important to celebrate, the same principle should apply to one’s own birthday.
Adults are a little too good at getting things done to the point that they don’t realize they should make time for fun — even on their birthdays. Things like self-reflection get pushed aside every day to make way for handling the pressures of everyday life.
But those pressures are the very reason to celebrate one’s birthday. Taking the day to feel special and reflect on another year of life is a form of self-care. It’s a matter of being intentional with the past and future and leaving room to celebrate the gift of the present.
Birthdays don’t have to be the extravaganzas they used to be at age 10 or 16, though they can be. What matters is celebrating the way one sees fit. Bustle has a list of 35 unconventional ways to celebrate a birthday including everything from scavenger hunts to cupcake crawls.
Celebrating birthdays can be a form of self-care, so raise a glass of Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice, take a cue from Parks and Recreation and “treat yourself.”
Follow Kelly Rodriguez on Twitter at @KRodrigNews