Surprisingly, I spent the weeks before my 23rd birthday worrying. After my plans of having a big birthday bash in NYC with all of my girlfriends fell through due to the proximity of my birth date and most of their finals, I was worried that I’d end up spending my favorite day of the year alone and forgotten. I even considered driving down to Maryland for the weekend where most of my closest friends lived, but the thought of driving 6 hours to Maryland, spending $150 on a dress I’d wear once, going crazy, blowing $300 on a table and bottle service at a club just to drive back home the next day just in time for work didn’t sit right with me. Plus, the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight was the night before my birthday and most clubs would be having “viewing parties.”

In the end, I did not have a huge banger for my 23rd birthday. I did not get belligerently drunk. I was not surrounded by all of my friends. But, to my surprise, I had one of the best birthdays ever. My birthday weekend was so great that I laughed at myself for worrying so much. On May 2nd, I spent the day running a few errands (aka birthday shopping spree). Because it was my mother’s birthday (Yup, I was born the day after her birthday), I got an Edible Arrangements bouquet. And because I was terribly broke on my father’s birthday (which was in March) and couldn’t get him something sentimental like I wanted, I dedicated the bouquet to both of their birthdays. I gave them each a heart felt card to match. My family spent that evening at the Cheesecake Factory in West Hartford. By 11 pm, I was so exhausted from still overthinking what to do on my birthday that I fell asleep around 11 pm, missed the May/Pac fight (like I really care), and slept through my annual 1:21am birthday song to myself (the time I was born). I woke up around 2 am, checked my phone, and found that I had no birthday texts or missed calls, something that I had always received in previous years. I forced myself back to sleep and tried not to let sadness creep in. I woke up 3 hours later; worrying ruins any possibility of sleep. I dedicded to check my Facebook (I never use it anymore) to see if I received any well wishes. I had a few from some acquaintances, but I was still dissatisfied; why hadn’t my friends contacted me yet?

I laid bundled in my bed, googling spas in CT or NYC and hair stylists who specialized in balayage. I refused to spend my birthday just like any other day and compromised with myself to at least get my hair done or my body caressed on this glorious day. After all, I had requested the weekend off from work. That morning, my Mom called me down to breakfast and I had a beautiful home made breakfast with the family. It made me feel a lot better than when I had woken up. I decided to make an impromptu visit to NYC to visit my close friends Jared and Besnik.


On my train ride into the city, an influx of birthday wishes from my friends and family slowly flowed into my phone, They were so heartfelt, I started to tear up on the train. I felt so stupid for worrying that the people who loved me would forget about my birthday. It dawned on me that birthdays weren’t meant for blowing money and big celebrations, but a day to remind that special someone how important they are. And that’s what my friends and family did for me. Jared took me on a tour of Manhattan for most of the day.

Later that night, we met up for drinks with Besnik. I ended up missing my train so Jared was kind enough to let me crash at his place. We toasted to a birthday well spent with a shot of Tequila and for the rest of the night, he played the melody of Kanye West’s Flashing Lights on his keyboard while I danced on his bed and sang the song until my voice started to sound like Big Ang.

I came home the next day, just in time to get ready for work. When I entered the house, I was met with birthday balloons in the kitchen and a big birthday bag of gifts from my Mom, Dad, and little brother. I felt really bad for missing my train home and not spending my last hours with my family, but we were able to eat the ice cream cake and sing happy birthday the next night that I wasn’t working. I vowed to myself, as a sort of birthday resolution, to make these next 52 weeks, ones to remember. I want to be a better citizen of my community and give back more than I have in the past. Each week, I will focus on a way to give back to my community or challenge myself to be a more well-rounded version of myself. I want this year to mean something!

Overall, My birthday was really special. And I just want to let everyone who took the time to give me birthday wishes I appreciate it more than you will ever know. Lots of love!

  • itsJDixon
    Posted at 06:59h, 12 May

    You're worth so much more than anyone can give you in one day but knowing that I have you the best day makes me happy.

  • Tanaye W
    Posted at 21:58h, 27 May

    Thank you Jared. You're the greatest friend! XO

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