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It’s my birthday today, and I’m feeling really down because there are no cakes or birthday wishes

My birthday today is one of usually happiness and excitement. Many people view birthdays as celebration days when friends and relatives gather to express their love and gratitude. But as the hours go by, I discover I am growing more depressed. No cakes, no birthday greetings, and little evidence of the holiday enthusiasm I had hoped for. Rather, one is just growingly disappointed and depressed.

The day began with a buzz of expectancy. I woke up hoping for nice surprises and touching actions to mark my birthday. When I checked my phone, though, there were no alerts or messages. Usually hive of activity on such events, social media was silent. I persuaded myself that the wishes would come later in the day; it was still early.

Trying to stay upbeat, I went about my morning ritual. Breakfast, which I had intended to be a treat, tasted boring without the company of birthday greetings. Every minute seemed to accentuate the lack of festivity. The clock ran on, and the knowledge that there would not be a birthday cake or sincere words started to weigh in.

For many reasons, birthdays occupy a particular place in our hearts. They serve as a reminder of the love and relationships we create with others, a day when we especially value and appreciate ourselves. Birthdays have always for me about the little gestures—friend greetings, a cake made with love, and the sensation of being surrounded by people who care. All that seems to be lacking nowadays.

We have become used to the quick satisfaction social media offers in this digital era. On important days, one is often anticipating a torrent of alerts and messages. When that doesn’t happen, one could easily feel forgotten or disregarded. People have their own life and obligations, though, and this should be remembered. They can be organising a surprise or they could have every intention of reaching out later in the day. Lack of immediate awareness does not always equate to lack of care.

Even knowing this, it is difficult to overlook the emotional effect of a quiet birthday morning. The emptiness left by the lack of birthday wishes seems great, almost as though it reflects my value. I chose to go for a stroll to help me relax as I hoped the fresh air would do. Though the calm beauty of nature offered a little break from my worries, the underlying melancholy endured.

The day progressed and I started to doubt my expectations. Was I giving outside validation enough weight? To feel unique, did I need people to celebrate my birthday? These questions set off a time of reflection. Though it’s great to get affection and gratitude from others, I came to see that my sense of value shouldn’t be totally based on that. Not because people remember my birthday, but rather because of who I am and what I help to bring about in the world.

From this fresh viewpoint, I resolved to run my daily affairs. I choose to celebrate myself rather than waiting for others to make me unique. I watched a movie that usually makes me happy, indulged in some self-care, and ate my favourite dinner. I got in touch a close buddy and scheduled a later meeting. These acts helped me to refocus from what was lacking to what I could do to make my day fun.

A few calls and messages started to arrive as dusk set in. My friends and relatives apologies for the wait; they explained hectic schedules. Though late, the wishes were real and honest. They reassured me that I was loved and valuable even though the day had not started as I had anticipated.

When I thought back on the day, I discovered a vital insight. Though they celebrate life, birthdays do not always go as expected. It’s important to keep in mind that the existence of a cake or the quantity of birthday wishes define not our value. We can find delight in our own company and start to feel unique.

My birthday thus turned out to be a day of personal development and self-appreciation, even though it did not go as planned. And that alone makes one want celebration.

What do you think?