Story #6: Birthday Blues (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Every year, for more or less than a week, I get what has been commonly termed as birthday blues. Usually, a combination of the realization that you’re getting older and that things are not as you thought they would be, expectations not being met and general disappointment.

Now, I like to think of myself as a happy person, I’m pretty positive and not sure if it’s a side effect of all my positivism or just my general stubbornness, but I always expect things to go a certain way. So on my birthdays, where I have been elaborately planning how everything should go for the last six months, when things don’t go according to the said plan, I get way more disappointed than I should, the worse part is that, repeating the same pattern year after year, I never learn.

Until this year, when I decided to vent it out (also, I don’t like to vent out my feelings) so when I did, it was a catharsis of the last few years’ worth emotions, and that person was clearly freaked out, but it felt good to get it out of my system. What he told me after, was a long explanation, that ended in the conclusion that one should not have any expectations. Easier said than done for people who overthink things a lot. But this year when I just told myself not to plan and to just see how it goes, surprisingly there was no disappointment or anger. I didn’t do much, but I enjoyed what I did. I also somehow came to terms with getting older, mostly because I did a lot of new things this year, changed a lot of old patterns and took as many crazy decisions as I could; some ended better than the others, but I hope I learn from this, not only to apply it on my birthdays, but to life in general.


 

Things would turn a lot differently if we gave up our expectations, from situations and people and just let things go. I relate to this story because this is something that has happened with me too. I detest birthday blues, and funnily enough have them every year. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with all the birthday attention. But I’ve given up expectations, just like the person who wrote this. We gain a lot when we lose expectations: a perspective, and a new found love for the people who make the effort to do something for us. I didn’t think a lot of people would wish me, but it felt really very special when I realized how some people took the time out to write me a message, and others who even called me at midnight. So, I think that I may have stopped expecting things from people, but I’ll never not be thankful for the things people do for me even when I’m not expecting them to. 

So, easily, it is certain that letting go of expectations may turn out to do you more good than harm.

-:-

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns. If you’re interested, you can send me your story at ratti.priya5@gmail.com.)

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Dear Grandpa

Dear grandpa,

You know how the universe conspires to bring people together-
Years ago when you were born into this world one couldn’t estimate the impact you were to imprint on so many people’s’ lives.
Today as I stand here in front on you
Making attempts to tailor my words so as to fit your magnanimity,
I fail;
Because the knowledge the intellect, the love, and the poise you singlehandedly carry in your aura blows me away;
I can only stand and gape.

You speak of planets and you tell us about astrology,
But you must know that you are our entire world;
We are little stars and planets embedded into the system that revolves around you
You- you’re the sun in our world.

I played in your lap as a baby
And I remember listening to your fascinating stories;
I grew up to worry about you losing your way back into winding streets;
And as I walk in through the gates of your house every vacation,
The brightness of your face greets me like sun shines after a thunderstorm;
You have probably experienced ups and downs same as the curvature of your italicized handwriting.

As you speak I swear even the birds and the trees lean in;
to catch a word perhaps
For you speak with the conviction that could evoke storms of emotions even in a dead mans’ heart.
Now I as I grow up
I wish to be able to speak just like you
I wish people would listen to me the way they listen to you

And if I was to ask someone if they believe in god they’d say
He’s up there, looking at us from above you and me
But I rather think that my god
Is sitting right there in front of me.

Happy Birthday to Me!

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It’s done. Seventeen years of my life have passed away in what feels like a gush of wind. It’s so difficult, coming face to face with the fact that though my childhood is over, I haven’t reached adulthood yet. Just hanging somewhere in between.

The clock had not even struck 12 when I was put on conference with my two best friends. I was sleep-talking, honestly, but they’re amazing. My mom and my younger brother arranged me a little cake cutting party at midnight, and I realize that moments like these, spent with family are priceless.

School was it’s same old bore- my answer sheet the next level of worse. But I’m not failing so no major problem there.

While my mom was driving me back from school, I was my own crabby self- ranting and complaining on how it was so hot and how  I had a severe headache. But my mom, surprisingly, told me to enjoy this day the way it was. “Its not going to come back. Ever.” She said. That was when I realized, that once this time passes by, it won’t turn back around. I’ll never be in that moment again- that specific time when my mom is driving, my younger brother is in sixth grade, I’m in twelfth and relatively carefree.  This wasn’t going to last. But whatever, after this brief moment of realization, I came back to being me.

Perhaps it was after school that my day started to get better. I had four of my best friends from school over for a surprise party; and in accordance to something that I recently read, “amidst pain and hurt we find perpetual hope. And birthday cake.” Only, mine had pictures of me on it.

Spending time with friends is something that just makes you feel … I don’t know how to put it words because I’m not really the sort of person who would indulge in group conversations; but I only have a handful of good friends that I’ve laid my trust upon, and they mean the world to me. If it wasn’t for them, I’d have had locked myself in a room and let myself rot in loneliness. Laughing with them was the second instance when I felt there were only countable times left when we would actually be sitting together and casually cracking jokes. Like most of the things that happened today, this wasn’t going to come back either, though after a awhile. We’d probably be too busty with our jobs or studies to meet like this.

So well, my seventeenth birthday was different than what I expected. Good different, though. I realized happiness can be found in the simplest of moments. And if you look deeper, you’ll find happiness within you. Also, live every momet. Because I’m told that these years of my life are very precious; and it sure is starting to feel like they’re priceless.

I won’t waste them away without a handful of memories.