It’s One Day Until My Birthday and I’m Conflicted

I love my birthday. Every year I wait expectedly, counting down the days, getting unnecessarily excited. I was told that once I get older the excitement for my birthday would wane, but even though I might not hold it to the same pageantry that I did when was 16 perhaps, it constantly shines as highlight on my calendar, a day I look forward to.

But last year was different, last year I took a good, long look at why I was so obsessed with my birthday, why I had 80 day countdowns, why I felt the copious need to remind others that my birthday is coming up, why I went out of my way to make sure I had a huge bash every year, what was the point? Why was I doing this?

Through all of this, I came to the realisation that my birthday, like probably many of other people’s, was the one day when I felt more than mediocre. It was the day I felt like other people cared about me, like they wanted to see me, wish me, be with me. After a while it didn’t even become about the presents, if I got no gifts but 10 people made an effort to see me I was happy.

However, in 2015 I was glum, perhaps it was hormonal, maybe it was an influx of disappointment but I kept my birthday to myself. I made last minute plans to have tea with some friends who had made a concerted effort with me that year, I told some friends that I would be at a bar the night before my birthday, and stayed at home the day of my birthday if anyone came to wish me. I really worried that I was forcing my day on people who really felt compelled to share it with me, and I felt like I needed to keep the option open that they could attend if they wanted to and there was no pressure. But I was surprised, friends streamed in, and really made me feel like I was complete idiot for even attempt that little experience.

Now, reflecting on the previous years, and as my birthday draws closer, I sometimes feel like throwing in the towel, it is clear that 364 days of the year I feel invisible, like I’m looked past or not important unless I am needed, and my birthday is the one day that I feel like I exist in the world, that I’m not just a part of the furniture, and perhaps I should forego the day completely and just accept my invisibility.

But there is another part of me, that thinks to hell with it, maybe I will feel invisible forever and 2 August will be my only shot to feel particularly special, at least I have one day, I should make the most of it.

I’m still going through the process of navigating my way through my twenties and my journey of self-discovery, and perhaps age 27 will bring new insights and new struggles but I am happy to have made it this far. I am happy that my birthday does surround me with people that for some odd reason do care about me, that remind me that I’m not invisible, that I am loved.

Here’s to aged 27:


More about Caryn

Journalist, Reader, Dreamer, Fangirl, Defender of the Weak (and that's just my formal titles). I hope to one day take over the world or marry Tom Hiddleston.


  1. Reply

    I speak only for myself but you have never been invisible to me. Love you much. And ja screw it, it’s your day, celebrate the way you want and perhaps adopt this birthday thinking more days of the year xx

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