Birthdays were great as a kid. You got to have a party where you were the center of attention. There were cake and presents and all of your friends were there to celebrate with you.
And, as you got older there were milestones.
My golden birthday at age 8 because I was born on the 8th. Ten because you’re finally in the double digits. Thirteen because you’re finally a teenager. Sixteen because you can get your license (to drive). Eighteen because you can vote and are considered a legal adult in the eyes of America. Twenty-one because you get to have 21-runs.
But then as you get even older, birthdays become less exciting. There are no more milestones, just another year to add to your age to remind you that you are old(er). I mean, there is that whole being able to rent a car at age 25 for a “decent price” but that’s not as cool as voting or drinking alcohol, right?
This doesn’t bother some people, the whole getting older thing. Those people continue to throw parties and enjoy “their day.”
I haven’t really looked forward to getting older since 18. Every year after that has been one more year. One more year “away” from Natalie.
Sometimes when I think about it, during the weeks and days that lead up to my birthday, it makes me very sad and a little mad.
I’m getting older but she remains 18 … at least in my mind, anyway.
The more time that passes, the more disconnected I feel from her.
And I know it shouldn’t. Because, nothing has changed. Or, everything has …
All I can do in this moment is listen to U2 and think of her.
And, rather than dwell in my sadness, just walk on.
Because even though birthdays can be hard.
They can also be a celebration. So, I will do my best to be happy and celebrate as I know best — by racing a 5K on Sunday.