I Was Born on A Cold December Night (What I Learned on my 22nd Birthday)

All my life, I despised my birth date. I was born on a cold December night and had to spend my first Christmas in the hospital. Now this is partially my fault. I was scheduled to be born in late January/early February, but I had my own schedule and showed up 2 months early :0

But still. Being born a few days before Christmas…came with more hardships than benefits. When I was younger, I was the one kid who couldn’t bring treats to class on my birthday…because there was never school on my birthday! As I grew older, I got used to people forgetting my birthday because it is so close to Christmas. My birthday, a very happy day for me, is a stressful time for most. Gathering last minute presents, travels, and more. Even if my friends and family did remember, I was used getting a “combined” Christmas/birthday present.

So when I got back to my hotel after the last post, I was sad. I thought about everything I encountered on my 22nd and all the things mentioned. My dad sits on my bed asking if I want to go and celebrate with him.

“Dad, this is the worst birthday ever. What is happening. It already sucks being a December baby- and then after everything that happened today, I just can’t” I say crying.

“You’ll have plenty more birthdays Shahz, come on. Go wear the gown Grandma got you. I’ll take you to the bar” he says.

I call Mr. Photography dude. “Birthday girl! What’s up princess?”I cry and explain the whole dilemma to him. “Holy shit. Seriously? Okay just. Calm down. Think about our cousins in the Middle East, they don’t get half the stuff we’ve gotten for our birthdays over the years. Yea you’re friends aren’t with you. Yea maybe a few of them forgot. Yea you’re tired as hell and you have a crazy family- but hell, you’ve got 2 hours left. Make the best of it! Go wear that dress and celebrate with your dad!”

I sigh. He’s right. Being a December baby does have it’s perks. It is the perfect time to take a vacation…and I am on vacation on my birthday so why am I not enjoying it?!? I go to the bathroom and open up player’s message, “Happy Birthday love”.

Aw. That’s sweet. It’s way shorter than any birthday wish I’ve ever given him, but from him- that is the longest wish I’ve ever gotten! I tell him thank you and he immediately responds. “Let’s go out and celebrate once we get back.” Wait what? ❤ When have we ever gone out? When have we ever celebrated my birthday?? I am oh so flattered and practically fanning myself, ready to respond to him, when…there is a knock at the door.

“Oh Shahz…it’s for youuuuuu” I hear my mom say. That’s odd. What was she talking about? I put my phone down. I quickly zip up my gown and head into our living room. My grandma is smiling and my dad has his camera on me- my mom is holding a beautiful chocolate cake with the words “Happy birthday Shahz” printed on it. Oh. My. God. My amazing family ❤

My mom presents me with earrings and a bracelet. My dad presents me with a new perfume set. And of course my grandma already gave me the gown I was wearing 😉 They each began taking turns putting a piece of cake in my mouth (the Indian/Arab thing to do on birthdays!). I laughed and smiled more than I did on any other birthday! 🙂 I couldn’t believe it, it’s almost like they set me up! The worst birthday ever…was slowly turning into the best birthday ever at the last minute 🙂

“I told you. Your parents aren’t who you think they are, they love you more than you know” my Grandma says as she kisses me when I thank her for the day and her gift.

Grandma heads to sleep and I thought we were all going to sleep- but Dad had another surprise 😉 He took my mom and I out, and we all had drinks and dinner near the Miami skyline ❤ My dad ordered me the oh so famous “Margarita Picante”and I was oh so…uh well…never mind! When it came time to close the bill, the waitress kindly asked if there was a special occasion as I was all dressed up. We explained it was my birthday. She immediately brought a delicious complimentary cake with a candle on it ❤ My parents tell me to make a wish, and I made one that I cannot say (or else it won’t come true!) and we were on our way back 🙂

When I get back, I was sent a video that my friends made for me!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I thought everyone forgot. But here were my friends, from all over the world, some working late night shifts, each took time to make a short birthday wish video and one friend put it all together and sent it my way ❤ Again, I felt as if I was set up (in a very amazing way) in that I was having a very horrible day…only to realize it was going to be one of the best days ever towards the end of the night!

“It was all Sara’s idea! I saw the video. Shahz, I hope you understand what an amazing person you are now. People all the way in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia all wished you! People that were at work used up their break to wish you! Seriously. People may forget your birthday- but no one, will EVER, forget how you made them feel and the impact you had on their lives” Mr. Photography dude says when I call him later that night.

I laugh and cry. I’m still stunned at how everything changed in the last two hours of my birthday. When you are born, you can’t chose your name, your race, your gender, or your family. I’ve struggled with all four in my life. It was hard having a naming like mine. It was hard being an Indian and Arab. It was hard being a woman. And oh, it was hard growing up with a family like mine. But one thing you can choose- is your friends. And I certainly chose the right ones ❤

But even so, I still love the four things I was born with ❤ Especially my family 🙂 I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and December with your families and loved ones! Thank you for those of you that wished me ❤

It doesn’t feel so bad anymore…that I was born on a cold December night 😉

xoxo. S.

***This post was continued from Before Leaving for Miami (almost birthday musings)and When in Miami (My 22nd Birthday)

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