Sometimes A Birthday Is Just A Day, And Sometimes It Isn't


I'm the last person in the world who would ever ask for a extravagant all-about-me birthday celebration.  I shy away from anything special, and the idea of a celebratory weekend just seems much too much for me.  But then again I'm working on letting people take care of me more.

This weekend I embraced the celebration.  E and I went to Boston, something we had been talking about doing for a while, and just enjoyed each other's company away from the city.  We didn't stress ourselves out with trying to visit all of the tourist attractions.  We were only there from 11am on Saturday until 2pm on Sunday.  We knew we didn't have time to see everything, and to be honest neither of us cared all too much.

The weekend truly was a whirlwind.  Friday we made ourselves a feast of challah, cornish game hens (our cooking challenge of the week), applesauce, and pickles (to be eaten this upcoming weekend!).  Our hesitancy in making the hens caused dinner to be pushed back until 11pm, but it was the most fun cooking I've ever had.

Saturday started off bright and early, hopping on the Megabus at 6:30 in the morning.  We watched Seinfeld, got a little carsick, and took a nap before arriving in Boston.  E put it very appropriately when he said that Boston looks like New York if people actually took care of their brownstones.

It's not what we did, however that made the weekend one I'll never forget.

I was excited to turn 21, truly.  It's frustrating dating someone who's 24 and not being allowed into shows and bars.  I was looking forward to going out at midnight with some of E's friends, to bar-hopping around Boston and making lasting memories.

But turning 21 ended up being much harder than I anticipated.  Without warning in the middle of Saturday evening it hit me– this is another milestone I've reached that my mom isn't around for.

E and I were sitting, luckily, in this secluded garden when the wave of sadness swelled over me.  There was never anything super special about birthdays that made my miss my mom.  She always made me meatloaf, but other than that, nothing in particular sticks in my mind.  I wasn't a missing tradition, just a missing person.  One less happy birthday, but from the person who those words from most.

There are some days her absence doesn't occur to me, and there are some days when it manifests itself in every part of my existence.

So for a good chunk of our time in Boston, we sat in hedged-in garden all alone while the sun set, listening to the fountain, trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid the biting bugs, with me snotting up E's sweatshirt.

It might have just been the best birthday ever.  I could talk about her, tell stories from my childhood, and I got my dad to send me all sorts of baby photos to show E.  I was allowed to be sad without trying to make myself get over those feeling instantly.  That's a need of which I'd previously deprived myself.

E knew it would be hard for me, and planned an amazing weekend accordingly.  But just as awesome as our enormous dinner at Dinosaur BBQ was his willingness to spend a few of our precious hours in Boston letting me fully embrace my sadness.


If you ask me how my birthday was, how Boston was, what we did...well I'll tell you about the beautiful buildings and delicious ice cream.  Because that's the easy stuff to talk about.  That's what you want to hear, anyways.  But as always, this blog is a little window into the inner workings of my life.

This isn't something to feel bad for me about.  Not that I'm presuming anything.  But it truly was a freeing experience and I wouldn't take it back for the world.

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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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