I once knew a guy who forgot his own birthday. He told me this right after we discovered that we shared the same birthday. Here I was excited for this insignificant date that marked another year of me being on this planet, and he had gone a whole day without noticing that he had been around that much longer. I don’t mean to say that birthdays aren’t important. It’s a way of being thankful for another year, and it is a time of celebration. But maybe it’s not all about me. I didn’t trump God and put myself on this planet. I wasn’t involved in my conception—thank God. And I had nothing to do with the day that I showed up on this planet.
So if for one day a year, I get to celebrate the day I was born, I realized now that it shouldn’t be all “me, me, me.” Me, myself, and I can only do so much. In a whirlwind of events I found myself displaced and emotionally bankrupt. My mess multiplied and grew so out of control that I had mistaken it for a mental tumor—not a brain tumor, but a mental one. It wasn’t a physical mass in brain that was causing me physical harm; I thought my conglomeration of problems had amounted into something causing me to not function properly. Instead, I diagnosed myself with a bad case of self-pity. My dad said something that really stuck with me tonight: there are other people that have it worse than you.
I know. I dedicate my time to helping people in need and seeing what I can do to truly make a difference. Yet I had lost sight of that. I had been lazy and forgotten about my faith and, most importantly, I had forgotten about what was important to me. It’s easy to be upset, and it’s easy to wallow in all of the things that are wrong with your life and the world. The guy who’s going 25 in a 45 seems like an idiot. The woman who rams into our cart in an impatient temper-tantrum seems like an evil witch. Or what about the guy who makes it his personal mission to be a jerk to everyone he comes into contact with all day. There will always be those people. Your car will break down. Your bill will be overdue. And you will be ok.
Simply put, there are problems in the world and there are mean people. Said like a second grader, but it is the clearest way to put it. Sometimes it’s ok to forget about all of that. In life, there are times when we have to suck it up and realize that life isn’t always about us—there are bigger plans in store. The battles we face don’t seem small until we have overcome them. Just like our birthdays don’t seem that insignificant until we have forgotten them.
You have to decide what’s important in your life. Is this really the “worst possible case scenario?” Were you the only person born on that day of the year? The boy who forgot his birthday reminded me that I’m not, and that there are more important things in life. He may have just forgotten his birthday because he’s a boy and maybe he just has a really bad memory. But maybe, just maybe, he finds value in other days, and not just the ones revolved around him. I can admire that.
As for my dad goes, well let’s just say I don’t always give him the credit he deserves. So here’s to hoping to that he knows just how much I appreciate him and everything he does, even if I have trouble showing it sometimes.
Just another day from Life in the Lost and Found Bin.