THE BIRTHDAY BLUES! MY 25TH BIRTHDAY WASN’T WHAT I EXPECTED
I never knew that the birthday blues was something real. But apparently it is very common and most people experience it when coming across a milestone birthday, like that of turning the big 25 or the big 30, and are not where they want to be in life yet.
My birthday was yesterday, January 15th and I had the birthday blues all day long. To be exact , I’ve had the birthday blues now for about a week. I was always told that your 25th birthday is supposed to be extravagant and an amazing experience because you are entering into a new chapter. Most 25 year olds have accomplished something big in their life, whether finally moving out of mom and dad’s home, starting a family, starting their career and/or atleast earning a decent income.
Most people don’t know that I only get paid $8.50 an hour working as a part time on air radio personality. That $8.50 an hour only covers gas for an entire week, and then I’m back at it again asking mom and dad for money. I drive an hour and 10 minutes away to a radio station on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to live out my dreams and get a start at being successful in my career for $8.50. I imagine I’m feeling a lot like how some waitresses feel making $4.50 an hour, but with no cash tips.
Want to know the killer part, I have two degrees!!! I literally was making almost over 1k a week when I was working at the bank my junior year in college. Now my paychecks are sometimes $165 every two weeks, sometimes $215 .
Sometimes I don’t even bother checking my direct deposit and want to give up and just apply for jobs that are going to make me a living. They say money doesn’t make a person happy. but struggling to actually fight for your dreams is not a happy process. There are a lot of sleepless nights, broke moments, tears, and praying.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do. But sometimes I do feel underappreciated and undervalued. I mean I’m sharing my life with others whether on the air or as a blogger and the compensation isn’t even making me a living( Praying that it will all add up soon, because I am feeling a bit discouraged that I’ll never make the money I want doing what I love). And then on the ONEDAY I felt like I was supposed to feel special , I didn’t. I wanted to spend my birthday with my friends and family and that didn’t really happen the way I expected it to. I didn’t want to go to a club or a bar and party with people who didn’t care about me. Who wants that fake love * Drake voice*???
Some of my friends and family members made my ‘special day’ all about them. Whether it was because they weren’t feeling well, didn’t want to do what I wanted to do or didn’t want to eat what I wanted to eat for dinner. One of my best friends, forgot my birthday and didn’t even call me. Not to mention the day before my birthday I was surrounded by younger 20 year olds who made it seem like they had their entire life all figured out. I remember feeling that way at 20, 21 and even 23 . But now at 25 I’m so confused.
I realized most of my 20s have been about pleasing everyone else. My boss, my parents, my friends, romantic partners, and just people in general. I’ve never just been completely selfish with myself. I think some of the blues I’m currently feeling also has to do with social media. I’m blessed that so many of my followers on Instagram and Facebook wished me a Happy Birthday, but then I began to feel like the odd ball when I realized I wasn’t celebrating my 25th Birthday how so many of my followers and friends had celebrated their big day.
So of course I cried and sunk deeper into a depression. I even broke down at the gas station when I told the cashier that I felt like everyone was being so selfish when it came to my birthday. It’s like I don’t even ask for much but everyone was so preoccupied with their own lives.
This week I’ve decided to dedicate it all to myself. I may even call off from the radio station and get a cover just because I need to regroup and refocus on my divine purpose. Sorry if this article isn’t one of my most inspiring ones. It’s really not supposed to be. We fake it all the time on social media. We fake it with always saying well ” I’m Okay” or ” Just be positive about it, and block out the negative energy”. But I’m human and so are you! If I was supposed to be positive all the time, I wouldn’t need God for strength and right now He’s the only being keeping me together.
I read that when it comes to the birthday blues what discourages people the most are the expectations of how their life is supposed to be, life fears, societal pressures of having to have it all together, not achieving certain goals just quite yet, and lack of patience with yourself. Let’s face it we live in a society that highlights all the glamour from how amazing it is to start a new business…. not understanding the true struggle of entreprenuership, and from just social media always showing the highlight reel of someone elses life…but what if everyone was faking it…what if those sponsor ads from ‘millionaires’ were false and they are struggling just as well (Somebody should have told me it would be like this * J Cole Voice from False Prophets).
My birthday and my life in general has been teaching me to not compare my journey to someone else’s.
If you are going through the birthday blues, understand that you are not the only one who may be experiencing it. Cry if you have to and don’t feel bad about it. Don’t even allow someone else to make you feel as though you don’t have the right to feel how you feel. You do and it’s ok. The problem is we have stopped analyzing our negative emotions. Contrary to popular belief negative emotions are just as healthy as positive emotions.
Sadness and anger is not a bad thing. Even God has negative emotions. He gets angry, He gets sad, He gets jealous, He gets hurt. Are we any better than God?
A few ways we can make our birthdays a little easier when we may be experiencing anxiety when reaching a milestone birthday, is lowering our expectations on how the day is supposed to go or even feel. Reminding yourself of some of the things in your life that you have already accomplished may make you feel better as well. It’s also good to have something planned even if it’s small like going shopping, having a spa day, going out to dinner, or seeing a movie.
So, grab some ice cream and take yourself out even if no one else does. Most importantly God knows your future so spend as much time as you need with Him on your special day!