I’m Not Anti-Happy

So it’s here.  Yes indeed.  Made it to 31.  I suppose it’s important that I keep on chugging along with this, otherwise I’ll be forced to change the name.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to write about in honor of my 31st birthday.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure what language I wanted to blog in tonight, but after a strong cup of coffee I decided I would at the very least start with English and see where I end up.

I had a pretty good day today.  Turning 30 last year wasn’t so great, so today was already loaded with the potential to be better than that, and I am happy to say it worked out.  Well, for the most part.  I had to go to work, which for most people would be considered a bad thing to have to do on your birthday, but had I taken the day off, I probably would have spent the majority of the day indoors and then gone to bed without much social interaction.  Not exactly a great way to celebrate, so although going to work isn’t what most people would choose to do on their birthday, I didn’t complain too much.

Now, that being said, I am going to go forward with the purpose of this entry, although it sort of contradicts what I just said.  As I said, I had a fairly good time at work today.  My co-workers brought me a cake and some brownies, and a few of the girls even decorated the manager’s office as a surprise for me when I came in this morning.  All this was well and good, but it threw more attention on me than I am comfortable with.  I have never been one to soak up the spotlight.  In fact, I was once quoted as saying, “I would be perfectly happy sitting in the corner where no one would ever notice me.”  Ok, that sounds pathetic, but the simple fact is I have never been one to seek attention.  Now, birthdays are the one occasion in which the spotlight is shone upon a person without there being and pretense of arrogance on their part.  We are all entitled to the spotlight on our birthday’s.  It just happens that I don’t particularly want it.  While I enjoy cake, I prefer not to have Happy Birthday sung to me.  While I enjoy my friends acknowledging my birthday, I feel guilty when they buy me presents.  So where am I going with this?  Well, I was invited out to dinner both by my mother and my sister this evening.  Now, I had kind of suggested getting together as a family for dinner tonight, but my brothers were not available, so I retracted the invitation only to have my mother re-invite me yesterday.  I was able to use my brothers inability to attend as a way to avoid this.  My sister offered to meet me for pizza tonight and I once again turned it down, although I suggested another day.  I started thinking to myself, why is it I want to avoid my friends and family on my birthday while I still want to see them on other days?  I suppose it could very well be the coffee talking, but after sitting for a bit this evening and mulling it over I came to a conclusion.  If I go out with my friends (which I did last Saturday) or my family (which I will probably do another day) on a day that is not my birthday, I don’t have to be the center of attention.  Sure, they can still say it is in honor of my birthday, but since it is not the actual day, I don’t have to be the centerpiece.  I went back through my memories and realized I have often avoided doing anything on my actual birthday simply because I didn’t want to be showered with attention.

Alright, I’m seriously not trying to sound super humble or anything like that, it’s just that I needed to explain, at least to myself, why I do things like that to avoid people only to feel guilty about it later.  My evening was spent sipping a cup of coffee, browsing amazon.com, and watching several episodes of The Big Bang Theory.  This is how I spend almost every Tuesday night, and I was quite content not to change my routine simply because I was 31 today.  Yes, I received some phone calls from family and friends, and it was appreciated, but there were no surprises, no impromptu singing sessions, and no awkward moments with alcohol.  Last year, while all I wanted to do in honor of my birthday was to go bowling, my friends insisted in trying to get me to drink more than I wanted to, figuring I wanted to get drunk.  This was far from the truth, and while I did have one beer, because I wanted to have one beer, much of the rest of the night was ruined for me because my friends insisted on putting the focus on me (“Look at the drunk guy everybody!”) instead of just letting me enjoy being with my friends.  Going back to when I turned 17, my “friends” attempted to have the entire lunch crowd sing to me in the cafeteria.  I spent the rest of the lunch wave sitting in an empty classroom doing my homework and probably sulking to myself.

It’s not that I don’t want to be happy.  Quite the contrary.  It’s just that for me to be happy, I don’t need everyone looking at me or showering me with attention.  I like the simple, quiet things in life, and while it is nice to be noticed on your birthday, I don’t ever want to be labeled “Birthday Boy,” or anything silly like that.  I guess I didn’t even realize what I was doing until I really thought about it this evening.  I certainly don’t want to offend any of my friends or family by avoiding them on my birthday.  I just have to figure out how to explain to them I am happier when I can stay in my simple little routine than when I have to be a celebrity for a day.  This is precisely why I never want to be a politician, a rock star, or a professional athlete, unless I were on a team and not some independent sport star. Perhaps that sounds a bit silly, but you get what I’m saying.  My happy might be someone else’s unhappy.  All right, I suppose that’s enough self exploration for tonight.  Until next time.

~ by James on April 24, 2012.

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