I was not going to celebrate my birthday. I was playing it cool. I always do, at first. It's a lowering of my own expectations, really, because I'm never convinced that anyone else is going to remember.
I promise this post gets less wallowy. Bear with me.
In my first year at uni, my first birthday away from home, I quietly mentioned my birthday to the three people I knew by name; and I got a surprised "Ah! Really? Happy birthday! ... So are you doing anything for it?" to which I answered No, no. Not really.
So, nothing happened.
It's my own fault; I'm bad at making things happen. For my 18th birthday, my friends demanded that we go to Pizza Hut at least, because I wasn't planning to do anything at all.
Since coming to Cardiff, though, things have picked up speed. I'm not the wallflower I once was, and I'm lucky enough to have friends who'll grab hold of the most tenuous excuses imaginable for a fancy-dress shindig. I love them, I love them (fancy-dress shindigs AND my friends; but I mostly meant my friends. I would not trade the wonderful, talented, gorgeous people in my life for anything, not even a kawasaki ninja, and LOOK how frakkin' pretty they are:
Yesterday, despite being in work all day, I was remembered by a great many people. As soon as midnight hit, Sean Solle got the first HBD greeting in, and the following 24 hours saw a whole bunch of people on twitter and facebook and even tumblr wishing me a merry one. Some of them barely know me, or were reminded by facebook, but every single one made me smile and feel valued. That kind of positivity really adds up over the course of a day!
And, to top it all, the very kind family I live with (whose generosity I can't begin to deserve) bought me a book on Graffiti - one I don't already own! It looks great, the pictures are grouped by area rather than by artist which is so cool bec- er, anyway - and a birthday cake.
And AND, the people I'm training with at work bought me cards and chocolates because they are insanely lovely. INSANELY. Get this: the lady who trained me for the first two weeks remembered that my short story has been published by the UK Zombie Defence League, looked the UKZDL up, found my blog along the way, discovered that Lindt Lindor are my favourite chocolates, got me some, and made me promise not to share them.
I can't even -
That's lovely on a scale I never expected to encounter in a work environment. Dilbert did not prepare me for this. How are you supposed to respond? Anywhere else I'd have given her the biggest bearhug on record, because seriously, that's above and beyond the contractually-obliged Happy Birthday, but instead I just rambled and thanked for a bit and grinned my way throughout training for the rest of the day.
Also, a girl I met on a bus and befriended the heck out of lent me the first Harry Dresden book, so I've got that going for me too.
Just - keep up the good work, universe. This is all very very adequate.