I turned 35 a few days ago, on March 20th. I hadn't thought much about my birthday in the days and weeks leading up to it. I've been going through some emotionally difficult times (that's putting it lightly) and I've been so caught up in all of that.
Birthdays used to stir up a lot of feelings for me - sadness, mostly. Disappointment. But around the time I turned 30, I decided that as an adult, birthdays are what you make them - few people are going to get big surprise parties and things like that.
Anyway, since I've been with my husband, birthdays have been a pleasure. Stephen is so great at picking just the right card, the right restaurant, the right thing to say. I never dread my birthday - I look forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve.
This year, he got us tickets to see Amy Schumer the weekend before my birthday and we went to a restaurant I've been wanting to try for my actual birthday evening. He had flowers delivered to the table and the whole thing was wonderful and relaxing.
I also received really touching cards from my parents and in-laws, birthday wishes from friends and family on Facebook, and got to spend a lovely afternoon with my close friend Mallory. It was all enough to make me remember that the people in my life love me and want me to be happy.
I've lived with anxiety and depression for my entire adult life. Sometimes it's bad and sometimes it's barely even noticeable. It's been very bad recently. But my birthday got me out of my head for a bit so I could see reality - no one wants me to be sad or afraid. This is something that happens inside of me but it's not my fault.
I'm choosing to be patient and love myself, the way the people in my life love me. I don't know if I'll ever be totally free from anxiety but I'm going to do my best to live a good life anyway.