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Once a year…

There is one day a year that everyone gets to be selfish.  A day where they get to put themselves first. It’s even okay for them to expect the people who care about them to put them first as well.

Once a year, everyone gets a ME day, everyone gets a birthday.

The lucky people out there get someone who cares about them so much that they will go out of their way and make special plans. The lucky people have someone who will do their very best to bring together everything that matters to them, to one place and time, to show them they are loved.


Then there are people like me.


I spent the days leading up to my birthday in tears. I cried every day, knowing that no one would do for me what I recently did for someone important to me.  I cried every day, knowing that no one wanted to spend time with me on my birthday. I cried every day, knowing that the only reason I was seeing people on my birthday was because I had invited myself to tag along on their plans.  I cried every day, knowing that I had flat out asked people to spend time with me on my birthday, for my birthday and they had said no.


In the days leading up to my birthday, I tried to come to terms with the fact that my birthday would be just like any other day. I tried to accept the fact that the one day of the year that I was allowed to be selfish would pass totally unnoticed. But every time I thought about it, I cried.

I confided in people about how I felt. I told them that I felt alone and ignored. I told them that I felt unwanted.  I guess I was hoping that by telling them how I felt, it would inspire them to help me not feel that way.


Then Saturday, November 17th arrived, and I knew that at the very least, I had my WeightWatchers meeting that morning, and my members knew it was my birthday, so they would acknowledge it.  I knew they would care.

When I got to work that morning, my coworkers were standing outside. The doors were locked and no one was inside.   We stood outside for 45 minutes  waiting for someone to show up and let us in, but no one arrived, so I sent 45 people home.   As I was sending them home, I casually mentioned that this wasn’t the way I had expected to start my birthday.  And to my disappointment, people were shocked that I mentioned it was my birthday.

I have to admit that I had thought about how the meeting would go. I had it in my head that they would remember. I had it in my head that I’ve connected with them to a degree that they would acknowledge it, and there would be cards and presents.

After I sent everyone home, a couple members did invite me across the street for breakfast, so I joined them and had a few laughs. But it  was their breakfast plans, and I was tagging along.

Is it wrong to be disappointed that they didn’t remember?


The next part of my day pretty much went as planned.  I met some friends up at Bear Mountain, after they ran the Bear Mountain 10K & Half Marathon.   I don’t know how to explain this part of my day, without sounding ungrateful, but I’m going to do my best.

I honestly feel that if I hadn’t invited myself up to the race to have lunch with them after the race, I wouldn’t have been there.

I really do want to make it clear that they did buy me a dessert, and they did sing happy birthday to me, and I do appreciate that, but it didn’t erase the feeling that I forced myself on their post race celebration, and I didn’t really belong there. I was just tagging along on their plans.


Saturday afternoon wasn’t about me, it was about my friend Jenny. It was her 30th birthday, and she was visiting from Calgary, so I made my way to her parent’s house to visit with her.    It was very sweet of her mom to go out and get us a cake, with candles and everything, but I was just tagging along on her celebration. It was nice to sit around with people and chat all after noon, but if I’m being honest, it hurt a little that someone who shares my birthday didn’t even remember to get me a card.  And yes, before you ask, I did get her a card.


My evening was a combination of frustration, and pleasure.   It was sweet of the people who tried to be there for me.  It was honestly sweet that they tried.  But I felt like an after thought, I was just tagging along on other people’s plans.


It was supposed to be my day. The one day of the year that people are supposed to care about me, and make a big deal about me, but it ended up being the loneliest day.


I spent the day after my birthday mostly alone.  And as I sat in my apartment, looking around, there wasn’t a single indication that my birthday had passed. Not a card or a flower, no wrapping paper or bows.  There was nothing.

The only thing I had to show for my birthday was 2 bottles of fruit wine, brought to me as gift from a friend I ran with the night before my birthday. And that gift is so greatly appreciated, you have no idea.   One person listened to me, she paid attention to the conversation we had about my recent discovery that I’m able to drink fruit wine. She listened to me and brought me a gift of something that she knew was of interest to me.  That one simple act was the most meaningful thing anyone has done for me in a long time.


I can’t begin to tell you how hurt I feel.

And I don’t want your sympathy. No one can make it up to me now.   The day has passed. It’s too late.

You only get your birthday once a year, and this one is in the books as one of the worst of my life.


I guess I just needed to get it out in hopes that writing it down would stop the tears falling.





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