So my birthday was this week. A lot of people say having a birthday around the holidays is bad because people are busy and people try to short you presents, but I’ve always loved my birthday. I think having a December birthday is the best time to have a birthday. First of all, everyone is already in a festive mood and the season is bright and cheery. Secondly, I’ve never had a problem with people making time for my birthday, but maybe that’s more because I’m pretty low-key when it comes to these kinds of things.
This year though, there was one thing that my birthday gave me that I hadn’t realized I needed: a reminder of my self-worth.
See, it always tends to happen that as the days grow closer to my birthday, things get busier and everyone gets stressed. In college my birthday always fell on the weekend before finals week, and now in big-kid world, my birthday tends to fall on the week before the last week of work before the holiday break (aka the busy week when everyone realizes they need to hustle because they also have to do Christmas shopping and pack for winter travels).
This particular year, I had a very stressful encounter with someone that I have to see on pretty much a daily basis, just a few days before my birthday. Though I was eventually able to mediate the situation and clear things up, the volatile–and rather intensely negative–reaction I received from the person before I was able to set things straight really had me in a foul mood. I just couldn’t understand how a person could have such a lack of respect for another human being that they had no problem spouting off vile things as if another person had no value. Without realizing it, I had let it affect the way I view myself, as if anyone’s negative opinion of me somehow made me less valuable as a person. Even after the situation was resolved, I was still harboring these feelings.
And then my birthday came, and with it, calls and well-wishes from my very-much-loved friends and family. And though the gesture was small on each of their parts, knowing that these people had made an effort to remember my birthday and then took time out of each of their days to call me reminded me just how valuable I am to each of them. But more importantly, I realized that I had been holding on to these negative feelings and needed to let go of them. Because it’s stupid to hold someone else’s opinion of yourself higher than your own opinion. Especially when that person cannot respect someone enough to show them decency through their own emotional turmoil.
So value yourself. Because you mean a lot to someone, and you have a lot of value to bring to this world, even if you can’t see it at this moment, and even if someone else can’t see it, either. And also remember, even when you’re angry with someone, that they are human too, and give them the respect and value that is demanded of that fact. Don’t curse someone out just because you need someone to spew your emotions on to.