I celebrated my birthday on Halloween and I partied HARD. There was music, dancing, trick or treating, pumpkin carving, family, friends and lots of booze. It was a happy day celebrated with the people that I love and that love me the most. Out of gratitude for being alive and well I laughed and sang if I wanted to even if there was no apparent reason for doing so to others.
People that don’t know me very well are often very surprised by how seriously I take my birthday because the idea of many is that after twenty-five it’s “just another day” (with the exception of socially constructed “milestone” birthdays, of course). I suppose I would feel that way too if I haven’t practiced “Birthday-Eve” for the last fifteen years that makes every birthday a milestone for me. Since I began doing the Birthday Eve rite,
I have never woke up the day after my birthday with that lame “back to the drawing board” feeling. Instead, I always feel focused, clear and excited about going forward. Never forget that January 1st is for everyone but it is not YOUR new year.
What You’ll Need:
1) Time and Solitude: At least 2-4 hours ALONE the day before your birthday.
2) A Journal/Pen
On your Birthday Eve respond to the following questions:
1) What have I learned during age X?
2) What have I accomplished that I am most proud of?
3) In what ways do I feel I have failed?
4) What pissed me off/Disappointed me/made me really sad? What must I do in the future to avoid repeating what happened? Am I ready to let go of the pain? What must be done so I can let it go?
5) Are there any outdated beliefs or opinions I have that may be holding me back?
6) Who has shown me love and support? How have they been rewarded?
7) Who have I shown love and support? How was I rewarded?
8) What or who is in my life that is hindering positive growth? Am I ready to throw that away? Am I ready to say goodbye? If not, why?
9) Do I still like the way I present myself? (clothes, accessories, speech etc.) Does it fit who I’ve always been or who I aim to be?
10) What is going RIGHT in my life?
11) What WILL I get done at age X? What are clear action steps I can take within the next seven days to get the ball rolling? Who do I know already that may be able to help or point me in the right direction?
12) Sum up your experience at the age you are leaving in three words.
Extra Credit: Ask at least three people older than you (9 years or more) what they wish they knew about life at your age. One of them should be 65 or older. At first they will be shocked by your question because very few people are asked directly for wisdom but once they get over the surprise, they are usually very honest.
If you take this exercise seriously without censoring anything, I guarantee that you will feel a sense of clarity of purpose you never felt before. You will also see how valuable your experiences have been (even the shitty ones), how much you have grown, what is left to be done and considered the options regarding how you plan to do it.
Then on your birthday you will feel awake, grateful and monotony will be a thing of the past even if you’re not doing anything apparently special.
Image: Tayannah McQuillar
Tayannah McQuillar is a writer and the Founder of Demimonde Public Relations (www.demimondepr.com) @demimondepr