Birthday Stress

So today is my 25th birthday. I have had a strange mix of
“best year ever” and “hardest year ever” as a 24 year old.
I think that makes sense biblically, but emotionally it’s hard to understand.
But for the few very hard parts of 24 sprinkled in, it really has been an incredibly
wonderful and fulfilling year. I’m excited to see what 25 has to offer.

This evening I’m going to dinner with a few friends and Mr.
Hagen, and here’s the thing: I’m way stressed about choosing my birthday dinner every year. The fact that this stresses me out says a lot about me, I think. Here’s why:

1. I don’t like making decisions for other people. What if the
restaurant I pick is too expensive? Or too far of a drive? Or the food isn’t
wonderful? That’s all my fault. People will judge me for the terrible decisions
I make and stop being my friend. Right? And it will ruin my whole birthday. And
possibly even my whole 25th year of life.

2. There are 364 days every year (with at least two meals a day)
that don’t count as My Very Special Birthday Dinner. That’s a lot of pressure
on June 22nd’s dinner. Poor little guy. How is he expected to bear the weight
of an entire year? It’s one meal, and it has to be the very best meal ever.

3. Not only does the restaurant have to be the best choice, it
has to be somewhat rare. A birthday treat, if you will. I really do love La
Terraza, but I go there all the time. My birthday has to be set apart.

4. This may seem like a strange thing for someone who has a blog, which is basically a website where each day I say, “LOOK AT ME! LISTEN TO THIS STORY I WANT TO TELL YOU! ME ME ME!” But I really don’t enjoy being the center of attention. I mean, I like attention – I like my friends to listen when I’m talking to them, I like someone to write me a sweet note just because they were thinking about me. But I DO NOT want 20 people looking at me and expecting things from me. Like being asked to open gifts in front of a large group. Or people singing Happy Birthday to me. Restaurants like to do that, you know? I get incredibly uncomfortable. And my birthday dinner has that potential.

5. I’m super selfish on my birthday. You will hear me say in the
days surrounding my birthday, “but it’s my birthday!” or some version of
this, about 70,000 times. Dave doesn’t want to clean the entire house by himself while I take a nap, “BUT IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” I want to eat an entire family size bag of Reese’s Pieces because “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” I’m selfish to the point of undergoing all of this birthday dinner stress JUST SO I CAN PICK MY OWN DINNER. BECAUSE IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. It’s a weird inner dialogue in here, friends.

So happy birthday, self. Make the right choice.


2 thoughts on “Birthday Stress

  1. I feel the EXACT same way any time I have to choose a restaurant, a road trip playlist, or a movie. Nothing is more horrible than getting excited about sharing a movie you love and then everyone else hates it and you feel the need to make up for it and make sure they don’t judge your entire identity by this one single cinematic (or musical or restaurant) choice. I’m hyperventilating just writing about it….So, yeah. Good luck! And happy birthday!

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