For me, birthdays are a big deal. It’s the one day a year where you can feel extra special. A day where you’re important. A day to celebrate you. So this year I had it all planned. Why not celebrate thirty in Vegas? We had it all booked, there was going to be 8 of us going down to Vegas and we were meant to leave tomorrow.
Then COVID happened.
The world stopped. And so, naturally, the trip had to be cancelled. There were flights to be cancelled, hotels to be cancelled, excursions to be cancelled. It was an awful feeling letting go of a weekend that I was so excited for. One that I had been looking forward to for months. I’ve never been to Las Vegas before so it was going to be the trip of a lifetime. Letting go of that in favour of people feeling like they were going to be able to remain healthy and avoid the fast spreading virus was important to me, but I struggled for several days before making the call. I’m glad that I did when I did because at least the choice was mine, not the government’s (as would have been the case if I’d waited a week).
Giving up Vegas has left me with a lot of feels. Especially staring down a milestone birthday that I don’t feel ready for. Ringing in my thirties surrounded by people I care about was really important to me, and that was taken away rather suddenly. It’s hard not to be a little bitter about it. And really, I am a little bitter about it. But at the same time I’m trying to be grateful. And I am… Kind of. I’m grateful that no one who was to be on the trip is sick, I’m grateful that I’ll still get to go on my trip at some point, and I’m grateful that things aren’t worse than they are where I live.
So I’m trying to practice gratitude this week, when I am looking at the things that were and are important to me falling away. I still hope to make a big deal about my birthday this year, and will probably spend much of it reflecting on my twenties and thinking about what I want my thirties to be. Hopefully I’ll be able to celebrate with friends on Zoom, have a beer and maybe some cake with the people who are important to me, even if it’s from a distance.
I’m disappointed that I’m not going on my trip for my birthday this year, which feels like a massive understatement, but I’m hopeful that it will be made a big deal of in light of the disappointment. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next few days!