"Pop!" go the streamers. Balloons fly everywhere in a sea of colors as the candles are blown out. At age 5, all I wanted in life was a pony and all the Barbies that existed. Fast forward- I finally get that new MP3 player I've been eyeing for the past year. Friends and family members stick by my side as I blow out 10 candles on my castle-shaped cake. Blink once- I'm surrounded by a wave of dancers as" Tiempo De Vals" blast through the venue. My QuinceaĂąera dress wraps itself around me as I waltz with my father, following the beat of the music with each step I take. The music begins to fade and here I am; age 17, fast approaching age 18. The memories of all the past years flood back to me and it excites me for the future the moment I hear or think of this one word: birthday.
As a kid, I would always be counting down the days until my next birthday starting from day 364. Just hearing that word would spring a smile across my face, with the thought of the presents and the desserts flying everywhere on that special day. My birthday would give me something to look forward to every single day, as it would be one day closer to turning whatever age I would be turning. At age 5, all I could care about would be what Barbie's would I be getting for a gift. I was in love with those plastic perfect toys, and I had no other desires whatsoever.
As I grew out of my Barbie stage, I began looking forward to becoming what most kids today dream about; a teenager. At age 10, I remember counting out the days until my 13th birthday, the day in which I consider, would make me automatically the coolest girl around. At 13, I would finally be able to shop at "grow up" stores like the oh-so popular Abercrombie and Hollister stores. Before I know it I'm 13, wanting to be 16, so that I could start driving the new Honda that I falsely expected my parents to buy me.
Here I am at age 17- car-less and with less than 3 months away from my 18th birthday. As I reflect on my past birthdays, you may be wondering "am I looking forward to my 18th birthday?" The answer is: Yes and no. Not only am I looking forward to being the big 1-8, but I'm looking forward to the future. Sitting here at my desk on this December day, I wonder "what will my life be like at my 25th birthday? Will I be married by the time I turn 30?" As a child, birthdays made me look forward to turning a certain age and the benefits that come with that; right now, I could care less about the age. Birthdays make me look forward into the future, and wonder how my life will unfold until the very last time I blow out those candles. No one knows when that will be, but as long as I have my birthdays, I will always have a reason to be counting down 364 days again.