My birthday was this past weekend.
This was the first birthday I’d celebrated where I was away from my family, but I made sure to have a nice, long phone call with everyone to catch up.
This was also my first birthday in college, after a summer when I consciously made an effort not to necessarily reinvent myself, but to be more outgoing and less stressed overall.
Therefore, the Cat I am in college (what most people call me here) is quite different, though in some aspects, still the same, as the Catherine that I was in high school.
This weekend I went to a paint music festival, where I met up with a bunch of my friends who didn’t know each other all that well. Still, it was great because they were there to enjoy the music and celebrate with me. Who really needs to talk when you can dance?!
Speaking of which, for someone like myself, who constantly needs theme songs/anthems to bump along to whenever I physically can (in the shower, on the way to class, in the morning to wake myself up), it was super sweet of my friend Maddy to make me a 100-song PLAYLIST of all of my/our favorite songs as well as songs he thought I might enjoy.
This has been on repeat since I first heard it last night.
Ever since high school, birthdays have kind of just been a checkpoint.
When I was a kid, I threw a party nearly every year and invited dozens of my friends, reveling in all of the presents they’d give me.
In junior high, my friends would decorate my locker, make me signs, and bring me small gifts.
By the time high school rolled around, I just sort of went out to dinner and got some clothes from my family, but nothing very special.
I wonder if it had something to do with me missing my childhood? Perhaps birthdays weren’t an occasion to celebrate, but just another tick in the list of years of my life. There are pros and cons to every period of your life, I guess.
I realized a couple of things over the weekend.
What are birthdays, even? They’re just a checkpoint in your life. Certain checkpoints are kind of exciting, like 16, 18 and 21, but it starts to get to a point when you start to dread (just a little) growing up.
It depends on the kind of person you are, I suppose. Some people, like my cousin, can’t wait to leave college, grow up, and propel themselves into the real world. Others want to stay in college forever. This makes sense, because college can seem like the perfect intersection between adolescence and adulthood. You get lots of ~cool~ responsibilities/privileges, yet you’re still immersed in an environment where everyone around you is on that campus with the main purpose of learning (?)
Thanks to everyone that wished me a happy birthday. It was unforgettable!