About birthdays

It’s my birthday today. It’s also so coincident that the daily prompt is going to talk about growing up. Birthday – growing up, see the connection? If you can’t see it yet, read on.

I believe I’ve never talked about my birthday in this blog. At least none that I can recall. I’ve always been very secretive about my birthday, and that’s probably why I haven’t wrote about them much. I’m not really sure why I’m writing this today, but it’s one minute to midnight and my birthday should have passed by the time I finish this sentence.

Let’s start from the first birthday, the day I was born. My family is pretty Chinese culturally, so we celebrate our birthday on the Chinese Lunar calendar. My Chinese calendar birthday and the more internationalized one (I think they call it the Gregorian calendar) differ around 2 to 3 weeks  depending on the year. My Chinese birthday was 3 weeks ago. And today is my Gregorian birthday is today (well, yesterday to be exact).

However, there were a bit of complication on my birth certificate. Though we celebrate in Chinese date, we need to use our Gregorian birth date for official uses. But if I convert my Chinese birth date to the Gregorian (yeah, there are tools out there and it’s pretty accurate), they don’t match. It was exactly 1 month earlier. So, by right, my Gregorian birthday supposed to fall on last month.

My mom seems to be very upset about it when I told her about this. She is illiterate and when I was born, it was my eldest sister who was 18 years older than me who got my birth date registered. Well, she is dead, and maybe my mom is pretty sure that she will never make such a mistake. Anyway, I don’t really care, I still celebrate it on the wrong date, but it’s pretty cool to know that I could have been a Sagittarius instead of Capricorns. Not that I believe in horoscope, but it’s fun sometimes.

Having 2 birthdays is pretty interesting, not fun, but interesting. Well, I’m not that special, most Chinese do the same thing.

Being the only son in a Chinese family, and also the youngest one, I was pretty special. None of my sisters celebrated birthdays like I did. My eldest sister will plan a pretty big party every year inviting all my friends and my cousins and cousins children, and also neighbors. Maybe because I was the only son, but maybe my parents had gotten more stable financially to afford a birthday party. Then I remember that some of my sisters who worked their ass off to support the whole family and also still need to go to school had some pretty awesome birthday as well. I can’t remember the details, but I think I’m not that special after all.

Growing up having people organized birthday parties for me was kind of cool. I remember how I was always exited for my birthday. The blue banner with “Happy Birthday” and some details that my eldest sister always made, the new cloths, the cake, the taking pictures and the birthday presents. But it all ended when my eldest sister passed away. I still celebrates birthdays, but it wasn’t that organised anymore.

Growing older I remember asking my parents to not celebrate my birthday. I just wanted to have cake and my parents and sisters to have a nice dinner together, without the extra guesses. It was my 16th birthday. And then it just sort of fade away.

I think I’ve never enjoyed birthday in the first place. Or maybe the birthdays I’ve been through had gotten worse each year. I feel like baby Jesus during Christmas. People are celebrating the birth of Jesus but all they care about are themselves, the gifts and what not. And some times I don’t even need to be there for them to celebrate it. Sometimes I was just there waiting for the dinner to start but all my parents care was the guess of honor that had not arrived. Well, surprised, I wasn’t that special, remember?

Leaving home, all I wanted for my birthday was to be alone. I’ve spend the two of my birthdays this year alone, doing pretty much the same things like every other days. My sister called during my Chinese birth date inviting me for a dinner. I would rather not celebrate it at all than to do be just a decoration in it.

I guess there are many things like birthdays in this life. Getting drunk at farewell party, wedding, ceremonies. But it might mean a lot for some others like you out there. Tell me how do you celebrate your birthday?


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