New York City teaches you that birthdays should be spent highly intoxicated doing the happy-hour-with-your-friends-thing. I’ve always failed at getting people together or picking good places, resulting in underwhelming and boring nights where everyone leaves after one drink. This year, when I turned 29 on September 10, I decided to lower my expectations by having none at all. I took my birthday off my Facebook page and declined any offers for dinners and get-togethers.
Every year my birthday makes me glance over my shoulder at the last three years, and they look like a treadmill instead of a path. Movement, but not a lot of progress. As I’ve written (and said in passing often) this year hasn’t been the best year. And last month was probably the hardest of my life for various reasons. I’m not in the mood for celebrating anything, receiving gifts, nor even having a conversation with anyone. So on my birthday weekend I wandered alone around the east side sampling macarons and buying groceries. On the actual day I bought myself a cupcake and a candle, gorged on a take-out hamburger and sang “Happy Birthday” to myself. I blew out my candle and wished for one thing: “progress”, no matter what.