Growing up I longed for a surprise party that was like what was seen on movies, where a home would be filled of people that wished to be there. That dream has never come true, even in grade-school when it was mandatory to report to a classmate’s birthday. I never enjoyed the idea of celebrating my birthday; I do enjoy getting older though. What I feared was not getting older, but that no one would ever come to a birthday party for me. My sister was unable to make time to celebrate my birthday, and since family waited for each other to acknowledge milestones, birthdays adhered to my sister’s schedule; my sixteenth birthday was two months late because my sister couldn’t be bothered to take time off from work. Eventually, I stopped sending invitations out at all, choosing to ignore the celebration and take enjoyment only from cards – and then settle for Facebook birthday posts.
My birthday was where I learned to exist within the cracks, as typically during the school year it fell in the middle of Winter Recess. Later, this became the excuse for why no one needed to hold a celebration for me. I wanted to avoid any fuss that would draw attention from friends because if they were paying attention to me, I believed they’d peak beneath my mask and judge me inappropriate – or worse, inadequate. Around friends, I remained shy as if they were strangers because facades kept everyone at an arm’s length. It was simpler to cover my self-consciousness and inferiority beneath masks, that were fashioned for inclusion by adopting specific friend-interests, and sub-cultures, and abandoning my own.