It’s funny how traditions start. The best ones usually begin organically and without much thought. Once repeated with a little more intention behind it, the tradition begins to hold ground.
Three years ago, on my 24th birthday, I went to work at my office in Boston where I was a graphic designer, and the interns brought me balloons, cupcakes, and a typical drug store paper birthday hat. They sang “Happy Birthday”, and we went on with our day. Later, I sat at my desk with my birthday hat strapped around my chin, picked up my phone, and snapped a photo of myself looking distraught. I uploaded that photo to instagram with the caption “it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to”.
Fast forward one year, I was in San Diego with my mom for my 25th birthday. Remembering my sad birthday photo from the previous year, I declared that it was necessary to find a birthday hat so I could take a second photo as a sad birthday princess. My mom went on a mission to Party City, and lo and behold, found the most glittery, fluffy, sparkly birthday princess hat ever. And in that moment, I repeated the event from the previous year, establishing my own little personal birthday tradition.
So today, on June 12th, 2016, I took my fourth and perhaps my most favorite, (and perhaps the most desperately sad) “it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to” photo yet. I must be becoming more of a birthday princess diva with each passing year
Though it’s certainly a fun lil thang that I’ve created for myself, when I take step back and remember where I was specifically during each of these images, I have to catch my breath. It’s insane to me how much can happen within a year, and certainly what can happen within three years. Each of these photos represents a Jera at a very different point in life. Each year, discovering myself a little more and inching my way towards a path that would lead me towards what I truly feel passionate about.
So yes, though it is my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to, I will certainly also smile just as much as I look back on how much I’ve grown each year. Let’s see what 27 has in store for me!