Dreading the most important day of your year.

November 16th, 2015, 12am

It was 5°C with overcast. The breeze was gentle.

I’ve always dreaded my birthday. I’m not vain or shallow, or any of the other culprits that would make a person hate their birthday. It’s a result of when my birthday lands. Smack dab in the middle of flu season! It lands in the middle of a month where flu bugs are everywhere and getting everyone sick. Including me, and my weird health problems. So I will get sick and won’t be able to celebrate it like everyone else just because I got sick again.

Most people want something material for their birthday, something to make them feel loved and thought of. Something large and extravagant and useless. I wanted one thing, to be able to roll out of bed and participate in society on my birthday. I wanted to be able to walk the halls of my school and people come up to me and say Happy Birthday, I wanted to be able to plan a party without thinking that the odds were higher I would need to cancel, a result of ending up in the ER.

This predictability of getting sick on my birthday, and the upheaval that would ensue created an anxiety based solely around my birthday. It hit a point on my 14th birthday where I gave up. I simply quit acknowledging it, other than changing my age on forms and writing it down when necessary.

I went through a phase of trying not to jinx it. Then I gave up, then I tried celebrating my birthday while being sick. Which worked until I ended up hospitalized on my birthday. I actually got a few birthdays in there where I wasn’t sick, which I remember so clearly because I consider them tiny miracles. I got away with it at 16, 18, 19, & now 21.

Today was my birthday and I got away with it this year. I managed to create 4 tiny, insignificant miracles.

Remember what you have. Some people might want something you didn’t even know you were lucky to have on your birthday.

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Mariah Hillis

History buff living with chronic health problems. Lives life to the fullest, and dreams the biggest dreams, despite not being able to breathe in her sleep.

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