I have something to admit.
I feel like people who talk about what a good birthday they had publicly are either one of two things; a) are just trying to portray what a good time they had where in fact, they are trying to cover up the guilt of not being happy enough and therefore relay the validation that social media gives them. Or b) they want to genuinely thank all the people that made them feel like they were on top of cloud 9000 (see what I did there? Heh) and therefore endure long sappy statuses on how happy their friends and family made them.
Or, I have another theory. Realizing that your value and self-worth does not depend on how others see you. And maybe you need to value yourself enough to make yourself feel special sometimes. So much so that everyone else’s participation is just a plus on your self-confidence.
And sometimes, you realize that you need to celebrate yourself.
Reminding yourself about how loved you are, when you often forget to be thankful for the people around you.
Aaaand also maybe you’re just grateful with all the people you have in your life and all the awesomeness that comes with them. :D
Also, these birthday blog posts have to account for older Niki as memorabilia. No matter how old you get, there is something you can look back to that will be a friendly ode to how far you come. Especially in a time when you feel like you’re falling behind everyone else in the general checklist of societal life expectations.
Now wasn’t that a load of wisdom for a 28th birthday post.
28 is the new 18, I think.
It’s the age of re-invention, it’s the age of self-reflection that you have 2 years to go for another milestone. In both ages, you’re two years away from a cusp of something big. So it may be a good time to check in with yourself to see if you’ve achieved everything you (almost) wanted to. So by the time you reach the big 3-0, you would feel like you have lived a life that you’re proud of.
For me personally, if you remember any of my older birthday blog posts, I talk about how to celebrate your birthday alone, alongside learning the process of going with the flow and deviate from my regular planned birthday and just letting life surprise you.
But if there was one thing that I made sure I stick to, it was ensuring that I completed one big goal for myself that year. Whether it be publish my very first e-book or even conduct my very first blogging workshop.
And this year?
I did nothing.
Yes, you heard me. Nothing.
But that doesn’t mean I had nothing planned to begin with. I did plan some stuff (it’s still on going to be honest) but it just didn’t come into fruition around the time of my birthday. It did make me feel bad, because I thought as if I was failing myself, but it also helped me marinade in the thought and appeal of not having everything figured out.
For the first time in my life, I enjoyed being confused.
I mean at that time, I was having an existential life crisis, sure. But at the crux of it I was lost and confused, and a part of me still is.
And I think I’m ohkay with that.
I am ohkay with not having it all figured out sometimes. I am ohkay with being indecisive and susceptible to changes and alterations in what I thought I wanted from my life.
And I gave myself my entire birthday month to be really, really confused to a point where I didn’t know where I was headed anymore.
Surprisingly, that turned out to be the biggest gift I could give myself. Time and space to just sink in the muddled up thoughts without being too hard on myself for not having it figured out.
In short, I was ohkay with the ordinary.
After having a thunderstorm of thoughts derailing my entire life’s purpose (so dramatic Niki) I was even more appreciative of the simpler moments of clarity for what they were.
And what were those simpler moments? Well, this post is called a birthday post for a reason :)
A chill dinner out with the friends who took time to be there for you. Laughs and cake over simple testimonies of your long standing friendship and all the history it came with.
Late night drives, last minute plans and long conversations. Of course let’s throw in a Boku No Hero Academia sweatshirt that you now wear like second skin. Thank you Pranav :)
You taking your family out for dinner and paying for it. Boo yeah.
Fancy best friend lunches coupled with fantastic (read: super windy) climate. Window shopping in places that you can’t afford (yet).
Really GOOD birthday cake. Like so freaking good, I ate half of my own cake. And so proud of the fact that I could!
Switching off. (For just a little while)
And finally, for giving yourself the time and space to be confused enough. Also knowing you will eventually figure it out. So breathe. And enjoy this orange juice thing.
Did you see the art work on the top of the post? A big BIG thank you to the incredibly talented girls over a SOBAscape for making me look much better than I actually am. Haha. Also thanking friends who make you feel like you’ve done something right in yourself for being lucky enough to call them your friends to begin with. Thank you Vijay & Neha for always making this girl feel like she on top of the clock tower :)
So summarizing my ‘ordinary’ blog post, as I mentioned before, in this day and age, giving someone your time and attention has proven to be more valuable than anything else you could give them.
To those who gave me a few minutes of their day and their time, Niki is truly thankful.
(This includes midnight phone calls that I answer half asleep and mostly incomprehensible, but I secretly enjoy it anyway)
So here is to you, you confused woman. Honestly, what am I going to do with you? :P But here is hoping to another year filled with everything you wanted, including the things you didn’t know you wanted in the first place, but eventually it all coming down to things that work out for the best. And contribute to your happiness in ways unimaginable.
May every birthday help you discover something ‘extra’ ordinary,