Does Your Birthday Make You Sad, Too?

Birthday anxiety is surprisingly universal.

10.05.16
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This year, it finally dawned on me: I spend a ridiculous amount of energy every summer deciding whether or not I care about my birthday. When I started whining about this non-problem to my friends, I was surprised to find that birthday anxiety is basically universal. It felt like the moment we all realized we hated New Year’s Eve. They’re kind of similar, right?

As with New Year’s, the optimist in me believes each birthday just might be the most memorable one yet, whereas the misanthrope in me finds it silly that I place any significance on it at all. It’s just a day! Or is it the best day? My hazy memory of past birthdays only makes this harder to parse. I’m pretty sure they were anticlimactic — not worth the stress — but maybe those were just a fluke? Maybe this year will be different!

Do you jump through these same contradictory hoops? Is humankind just a herd of forgetful animals full of hope and cynicism? My very unscientific research has indicated yes. Below, I’ve outlined the neurotic nature of my birthday psychology. Please review and tell me whether or not I, alone, am psychotic or whether we all are.

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Infographic designed by Emily Zirimis.

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