Photographer & Mental Health Advocate

Lifestyle & Mental Health Blog of Ashley Jacklyn

Another year.

When was the last birthday you actually felt loved? I'm not talking about fancy gifts or going out drinking type of love, I'm talking about the feeling that you'd get as a kid when your special day came around.

For me, it was when my mother would take off of work on my birthday to take me somewhere special, or nowhere special at all. Being with her was enough for me. She was my only parent and knowing now that she would take off to make my day special even though we didn't have a lot, makes me more grateful to know that she did whatever she could. Last year was also a birthday where I felt truly loved. We saved up as much money as we could to take my little brother and I to Disney World for his first time and my second. I didn't love the trip because we were in Disney World, ( though that place is magical AF) I loved it because we made a lasting memory. A memory that I will take with me forever because my mother, my strong yet so loving mother, gave my brother and I the gift of her enjoying life.

Now that I'm older, I find myself anxious around my birthday because I'm not always surrounded by the people that I love and at times, I even feel like no one else cares. I know it sounds selfish and it is, I admit that but have you actually noticed how self-centered of a society we really are? Why is it that when we get older, our whole way of celebrating the gift of being alive changes? Why is that when we grow older we are always wishing for yesteryears? I know the way I view my birthday impacts how I feel about it. My friends aren't in the same state as me and I don't make friends easily so loneliness plays a huge part in why I get so anxious to turn another year. I am trying to change my narrative to prove to myself that there is still something to celebrate by being another year older.

Life is fleeting, it's gone before our eyes and I want to spend it with the people I love as much as possible. This year, I'll be in Florida away from my loved ones and rather than being afraid of growing up and hiding that I'll be twenty-six, I'm going to enjoy my birthday because I'll be thinking about the ones I love. I know this issue is my fault for assuming people should stop their worlds for me, so I will instead, combine our worlds, and carry them all with me.