Tuesday, 23 October 2012

what is the meaning of a birthday?

I began writing this blog post yesterday morning while my friend Ella was still sleeping and I had moved onto my second impressively sized mug (litre) of coffee, gotten bored of Sunday morning television, and decided to write. However, Ella arose from slumber, and the day moved on. We hung out for a while, and I went to meet Kat for a cup of tea in town to catch up, then Franks came to visit the new house and we ate chocolates and drank even more coffee and had a wonderful Beetham sister time. Then, inevitably today follows the day before, and today's activities happened. I had a surprising lie in, wrote letters asking potential participants if they would kindly assist in being my interviewees for my dissertation (EEK!), and I went to work mentoring in the afternoon. Then to the library at uni to do some printing, back home, sort things out, a couple of Skype calls to catch up with people far away, a visit from my housemate's awesome ginger friend, and it's two O'clock in the morning. I don't know how this happened. I should now rest my head and sleep but I wanted to post this blog before the thoughts well and truly disappeared from my mind. It's always best to write while thoughts are still poignant, before they are replaced with new and more thrilling ones, as opposed to reflecting on the moment when it's really just an insightful memory that is appreciated when looking back. It's not quite the same. Writing is almost a similar concept as a photograph, in the sense that both capture a thought or a memory in a single solid format. For some reason, we 'need' to hold onto some selective thoughts in more ways than just an internal memory. The brain forget things over time, or at least the moment is not always remembered as it truly were.. Just fragments and selected sections. This being said, perhaps we will always only remember the things we selectively choose to recall anyway. Regardless of this complicated selective memory and event re-calling business, I sometimes find myself lost for words when writing simply because there is so much I want to say, but it will only be my brain's vocabulary and the way in which I write that interprets the actual thing I intend to write about.

Back to the intent of this blog..

It is the month of October and it seems to be a month filled with birthday celebrations of those very dear to me. I have always thought of birthdays as a 'happy' time and a time dedicated to celebrating the birth of that person. However, recently my thoughts have altered a little. A birthday is not just a day to force happiness and give gifts and smile asif nothing could be possibly wrong in the world. We cannot ignore the heartache and pain people carry through their lives and cover it with a cushioned blanket for the one day of the year because on birthdays we are not allowed to feel any negative emotion. It doesn't quite work that way. Maybe before reaching the age of 10, birthdays are moreso about immediate happiness, but when we become old enough (and wise enough) to appreciate the world as a whole, we begin to understand that it isn't all we wish it to be. Not even on the best of days do the 'bad' things disappear from existence and the cushioned blankets others provide us with; they don't really exist. So now, birthdays are more about letting the person know that they are loved. They are cared for, and they are appreciated human beings. They have a place in this world that is valued so greatly by those nearest and dearest. This is what birthdays are about. This is where the happiness lies - in people.

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