Most normal people can't wait for their birthday. It's a time to celebrate turning another year older. Sadly, that hasn't always been the case for me. Until recently, I was never bothered about turning a year older because a year older means a year nearer to incontinence, a year older to being vulnerable, a year older to relying on other people, a year older to dementia, a year older to... well, I think you know where I'm going with this. I don't like turning older.
The last time I celebrated with a birthday party was in my first year at university when I was 19. It was supposed to be a small occasion with 9 of my flat mates and their friends. My dorm had hundreds of students so much so that the university security had to come in and shut the party down. Best party ever! But alas, I never had a birthday party again. When I turned 21, the family went out to an Indian restaurant. My mother cried. 'What was the big deal?' I thought to myself. People who are new friends are always so surprised at how low key or secretive I am about my birthday. The reason is that when I was younger, because my birthday was so close to Christmas, are used to get Christmas presents and birthday presents at the same time. Also my parents would have spent so much money on Christmas presents and Christmas festivities that by the time my birthday came along, my parents were too skint to do anything. Don't get me wrong, once in a while I did get a birthday party but it was a rare. So I grew up not celebrating my age. And then to add insult to injury, as you get older, you start to think where you will be in 17 years' time per say. It was only recently where my friend Shannon spoke to me about not celebrating my birthday. She encouraged me so one year, I celebrated over a course of 3 days with various friends, going to a fancy dinner on Thursday, cocktails at a hotel bar on Friday and clubbing in Mayfair on Saturday. Since then, I am embrace it. I embrace getting older. Getting older means getting wiser. Getting older means more life experiences behind me and looking forward to new. Getting older means I am more confident dealing with whatever comes my way. And getting older means 'Been there, done that. I am wearing the t-shirt, darling'. So with that said, let me get back to raising my glass to getting older.