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Feeling gloomy on Birthdays

by Monsurat Momoh
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Birthdays are days filled with celebration of life, a lot of love and well-wishing and happiness. Watching cartoons and movies as a child showed me many things, but one thing was certain. I have to be happy on my birthday.

Pictures are posted, calls made, and phones ringing everywhere, it is like a “mini wedding”. Everyone loves you and everyone is happy for you. For 24 hours, it is your day, own it.

I asked my boss a few weeks ago “Ma’am, how did you enjoy your birthday? Was it great?”  And with a bright smile, she replied “it was just another day”. I smiled right back because I see birthdays as that. “Just another day”.

While a lot of people are genuinely happy about being celebrated with lots of makeup and hanging out with friends and family, I can’t help but be pleased for them too. This does not mean that I usually am sad on my birthday, I’m just my usual self.

Questions like “How does it feel to be 24?”, “how do you feel today?”, “Are you happy?”, “Smile, it’s your birthday” bothers me a lot.  I then begin to think. “What is the right way to feel on your birthday?”

“Is it wrong not to feel extreme happiness on my birthday?”, “What is the right answer to these questions?” I do not have any idea. Instead, I act like my normal self during that day.

If you are wondering if I’m “dissing” the people who are genuinely happy on their days, I totally am not. Am I the only one who still does not know what to do when the birthday song is being sung?

Birthdays are days to feel and give love. Days to thank God for life and cherish our lives, more. Days to restart if we have failed in achieving our goals. Like fresh starts.

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