Birthdays are a time to truly appreciate those special to you

As I sit here in the Tripod office at 1 a.m. on my 21st birthday, all I can think about is wanting to be with my family. I have never been big on birthdays, except for they are a reason to celebrate and enjoy those around you. I could care less about age (although 21 is probably one of the best ages to turn) or presents. To me, it is more about the people and the thoughts behind it.
I know I am going to go crazy and celebrate this day unlike any other. After all, it is basically a rite of passage. But, at the same time, I ache for the birthday where my mom made my favorite red velvet cake and put the same exact “Birthday Princess” crown on my head every year. She and my dad would decorate the dining room table with the infamous plastic birthday tablecloth and what looked like pounds of confetti. We would eat cake until I was in a sugar coma and fall asleep watching a movie of my choice.
I cannot remember the presents I received over the years or even the birthday parties really, except for maybe one or two big ones. All I remember in vivid detail is the people I spent it with, those who made me feel special or went out of their way to make the day memorable.
It’s become a part of social culture to ensure that a birthday is perfect in every way – for people to blow up their phones, treat them like a king (or queen!), and party, party, party. People anticipate it to be one of the best days of the year.
But, not to sound cliché or preachy, it is important to not get caught up in this perfect idea of a birthday. Appreciate those around you and the little things done to make you feel special. Even if it is not the big birthday bash, those you spent it with can make all the difference.

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