Why do I cry on my Birthday? It’s not why you may think

You’re another year older and it’s time to celebrate! Or so everyone thinks.

People usually celebrate their birthdays by laughing, smiling, opening amazing gifts and reminiscing on old times. The key word being “celebrate.” So, why for the past few years have I spent mine crying? It may seem odd, but it’s more common than you think. The most common reason is because people often feel old. They feel as though time is running out to accomplish all the things they set out to accomplish. They are another year older and it just seems to remind them that they may never get married, get that promotion, or have it all together like they had planned.

For me, this isn’t the case. I get the ‘Birthday Blues’ for a few different reasons. This year I’ve turned 29, which to some may seem old and that I must feel old. I feel the opposite of old. I feel very young at heart and as though I have a lot of life left to live. I feel like a 19-year-old who is trapped inside a 29-year old’s life! (Not body 😉 ) I’ve always felt that I was going to live a life that was full of experiences, and so far I have. In my 29 years, I’ve graduated high school, college, lived a short career as a conservation Officer, moved over 10 times, competed in 8 bodybuilding shows, became a personal trainer, bought a house, sold a house, got married, divorced, uprooted my entire life and started a business, and more.

Each year, the older I got and the more experiences that I had, the more I cried. It was very odd. I would wake up and each time someone would wish me Happy Birthday I would start to tear up. My Grandma would call and sing me Happy Birthday and I would sob uncontrollably. I would end the day and think “Wow, let’s not do that again”. But the next year would be the same and usually I would cry even harder. If I think back hard enough and try to pin point when it became more evident, it would be my 23rd or 24th Birthday. These were the years where I realized I had found my passion in the fitness and bodybuilding Industry. Like many women, when something exciting happens for us in our lives, the first person we want to share it with, is our mom. I unfortunately lost my mom when I was 12 to breast cancer. She passed away one month before my 13th birthday and I will never forget selfishly wishing she could have held on one more month to celebrate my first teenage birthday. I remember placing in my first show the year that I turned 24, and feeling so damn happy. But directly after feeling happy, I felt sadness. I knew she would be proud that I even tried, but the fact remained that I was unable to tell her in person.

When I turned 26, I was getting married that following fall and the main person that I wanted to share my wedding plans with wasn’t physically there. I ended up spending most of my time planning my wedding crying because I really did feel like I had no idea what I was doing. You see brides arguing with their mothers over wedding details and I was jealous. If only my mom could be here and tell me I was doing it all wrong (jokes). On the day of my birthday, I was reminded of the engagement that had just passed and the wedding plans to come. Which were mostly done alone out of feelings of being lost and that no one else could take her place.  The year I turned 27 felt the same. I recalled my wedding just a few months earlier and all the life events that just took place (Getting married and winning first in a bodybuilding show) and again how I couldn’t share any of it with her. Then came 28…

28 was the year that my marital separation would be final. Talk about hard truths and your whole life flashing before your eyes. This time it was the same feeling but so much worse. I woke up and just thought in anger “Here I am again. Another Birthday and you’re not here to hand me my cake and sing me happy birthday.  To tell me how proud of me that you are even though my marriage has failed along with everything else!” It may sound dark, but it was the truth. No matter how old you are, you will always be looking for mother’s approval. I went to work and every client that wished me Happy Birthday would receive tears in return. I felt so bad because each person couldn’t understand what was going on and they automatically assumed I just felt old and was one of those people who hates getting older. The only way that I can describe it, is to imagine each birthday up until you’re 12 with everyone you love, especially your mom. She bakes you a cake and watches you blow out the candles. She buys you the Spice Girl’s C.D. you asked for and says that in return you should dance to “Stop Right Now” and show everyone the dance moves. And she tells you that she loves you and wishes you a Happy Birthday. Each Birthday after that, is always going to feel like it’s missing something. Because it is. You can constantly try to distract yourself from what’s missing, but it’s always there. With each Birthday Wish you receive, you are reminded of the one that you won’t be receiving. Hers.

29 I can tell you has started out the same way, tears after tears. Birthday Cake for breakfast because I’m an adult and can do whatever I want 😉 and of course wishing she were here. This last year has kicked my ass in more ways than I can count. Instead of thinking that I wish she were here to witness my triumphs, I’m wishing she were here to help me pick up the pieces and start all over again. The fact is, I know she’s here. If she weren’t, I wouldn’t be writing this on my Birthday instead of continuing to silently miss her and wish she were here. I’m strong and I am proud of my strength, so when I have days like this its hard to accept them and allow them to be. Even though I am a 29-year-old woman, inside I’m still a 12-year-old girl who misses her mom.

The featured image is from a night in 2015 when I went to the theatre with a friend and spent the entire movie thinking about my current situation and what to do about it. I came home to this picture of her and I that hung on my wall, smashed face up on the floor. She sends me signs every now and then to remind me that even though I can’t see her, she IS here.

 Thanks so much for reading this blog and I appreciate all the Birthday wishes. NOW GET YOUR ASS IN THE GYM!

P.S. As I was proof reading this blog, the power went out and it almost didn’t save! Maybe she is here to help me blow out my candles, or the power.



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