[Not that I feel the need to justify my post but I realize this is incredibly cliche, but it’s a true story, these are real feelings, and sometimes cliches make a difference.]
As mentioned in the previous post, today is my 21st birthday! And I was hesitant to write this post at first, but my dad kind of inspired me to do it yesterday when he was just casually making a joke.
We celebrated my birthday at home a day early, just me, one of my sisters, and my parents (and the dog was present but he didn’t care). Mom got me a cake, and they sang, off key as per usual, Happy Birthday to me and all was well. But Dad made a joke, as he does every year, regarding the lack of candles on the cake. It was a simple and still funny jab because, thanks to Mom, we now have a ~thing~ about candles on cakes and I’m going to spare you of that.
He said something along the lines of, “Where are the candles? Don’t you want to make a birthday wish?” to which I responded, “Nah, I’m good.” because I was only thinking about the candles.
I was laying in bed last night thinking about that, and I wasn’t sure why because this wasn’t a new joke, we literally go through this every birthday. We don’t do candles; we haven’t for years. It finally hit me why this was still on my mind:
Rewind to this passed Thursday. My sister and I were celebrating my birthday with Long John Silver’s and cupcakes from a little cupcakery by our house (which has also become a new tradition, as per Mom). We were waiting in line at the cupcakery, trying to decide what flavors to get. The woman in front of us was purchasing a cupcake, which she later revealed was for her mother, whose birthday was that day. She was only purchasing one cupcake. Now, this cupcakery has a card limit, so you have to hit a certain total amount before you can pay with a card. Not a lot of people know that, I certainly did not until the cashier brought it to our attention. The woman frantically searched her purse for cash.
Suddenly, it hit me like a brick that I had received birthday money a week before from a family member. (Something I probably shouldn’t reveal about myself but this is necessary for my point) I almost NEVER have cash on me. Without hesitation, I said “Hey, don’t worry about it, I got you!” And I paid for her cupcake. I’ll never forget the look on her face. She was shocked. She said something like “I was just trying to get my mother a cupcake for her birthday, and this is just, wow, thank you! Thank you so much!” I told her my birthday was Sunday and she wished me a happy birthday and thanked me profusely. To me this was nothing, I wasn’t even thinking about it, I just wanted a cupcake and wanted her to get her cupcake because everyone should have cupcakes. The lady left and I had already moved passed the issue, and I was focusing on the cupcakes and ready to place my order and as I spoke, the cashier cut me off. She said that was really cool of me and she doesn’t see that often and that she would like to pay for one of my cupcakes. I was surprised for a minute, because, as I said, I had already moved on from that, I was focused on these delicious cupcakes.
My point is this: I never have cash on me. The one time that I did, I was able to do something for someone else. That’s what I want for my birthday. That’s my birthday wish. Because the best way that woman could pay me back, and the best way the cashier could thank me for doing what I did, is if they do something for someone else. I am a HUGE FAN of the pay it forward thing. I love it. (Not only that, I saw two things on Facebook that made me feel some type of way. One was that someone was getting rid of old coats and rather than donating them or leaving them somewhere for someone who may need them, this person shredded the coats because “They paid for it so why should some random broke person get to use something I paid for?” and the second thing, I read a facebook comment a few days ago that said “Why should I donate money to a cause? Why should support gofundme’s? Why would I do this, that, and the other thing when I had to work a scrape for mine and no one ever helped me?” My response to that is “Because it’s fucking awesome to do stuff for other people. I love when I’m able to do something that puts a smile on somebody’s face. It makes up for all the times that I had to struggle for something. It makes all the losses in life worth it, to be able to say “Yeah, things were tough, and there were times where I felt alone but in the end I made it, this world did not harden me, and my compassion supercedes my own issues. I am not more important, and I am no better than anyone who has not yet overcome their own adversity and life challenges. I personally do not want people to go through some of the things I’ve gone through or have seen other people go through. If I can help in anyway, I try to as often as I can. This world already sucks, there is literally no reason you should contribute to the negativity.”)
Do what you can. I almost never have cash so this will likely not happen again, but there are other ways that don’t require money. Volunteer, donate items, speak out about something that matters, throw out a random compliment, call someone and tell them you love them and why you appreciate having them in your life.
I saw on Facebook that you can apparently donate your birthday to a cause of your choice, and I’m donating mine to Cervical Cancer Awareness because January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. Remember to get checked regularly, remind your friends with female reproductive organs. Stay healthy, love yourself, and love others!