[The Story] Purpose of Birthdays

If there were one day of the year to practice healthy self-respect, it’d be your birthday. We continually sacrifice ourselves for others throughout the year. Why not reclaim our autonomy on our birthdays? Do what you enjoy doing most, do nothing, or do something ambitious! In “The Story,” Trishna [right] and her family have that attitude toward birthdays, so when John [left] has his first birthday as part of “the family,” it’s a culture shock.

Spoilers?: Minor (just character building)

John got almost no respect growing up.

He doesn’t even have a copy of his birth certificate when “The Scene” happens and he moves in with Trishna’s family. There will be some investigative work between Trishna’s parents and the city offices of Lanada, the city where John last resided, to make sure he can legally move to Trishna’s family farm just outside of Eville. John may have already known his birthdate prior to this investigative work, but it was probably more of an inconvenience to him than something to celebrate.

Trishna makes sure to change that.

Her family might be more likely to throw a big celebration for everyone having a birthday. Though there are rough dates of Trishna’s birthday perhaps happening in the summer and John’s birthday perhaps happening in the winter, so he will have seen a few birthdays before his birthday occurs, he might still feel uncomfortable with the general sense of others giving him attention. That will change as John talks with Trishna about his feelings of insecurities and inadequacy.

His first birthday party probably won’t be a big surprise.

Rather, if the day falls on a school day, then John and Trishna will just go about their day until having a nice dinner in the evening either as a date or hanging out with some friends like Float and Quest. If the day falls on a weekend, they’ll travel to Trishna’s family farm the day before to have a nice, stress-free day before dinner with the family, and presents. More so than that, the day should be John’s friends and family celebrating him and letting him know that they care.

Just as it should be for Trishna, or for you.

We get so caught up in doing work for others because we think this will be how we can better position ourselves for success. If we sacrifice moments of our day for others, then maybe they will they sacrifice for us? That seems to be the prevalent thought, whereas it might be better to do good work for others because it is better for everyone involved. To remember yourself as you work, to not sacrifice yourself for the sake of completing some work, is the ultimate expression of self-respect.

We are creatures of ego floating along a planet of self-absorption.

The purpose of a birthday, then, should be a reminder of how much we value ourselves, along with how much we value the one having the birthday.

When else do we have our own holiday?

Endtable:
Quotes: None.
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.
Inspirations: My own birthday. What I like to do is take the day off and hole up inside, doing whatever I want to do. Complete freedom is a gift to myself.
Related: Essays building “The Story.”
Photo: A simple shot (with Pollyanna acting silly) to avoid wasting too much of the time I have for writing or editing.
Written On: July 27th [2 hours]
Last Edited: July 28th [1 minute]
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)