By: Ben Mervis

“Birthday” no longer refers just to the day of your birth – didn’t ya know?

Some people claim a birthday week, some a long weekend, and we all know somebody who stretches their celebrations over an entire “birthday month” – we’ll call them #NationalHolidayBirthdayPeople. When our Blog Manager let me know my birthday blog wouldn’t be coming out until 3+ weeks following my birthday, my first thought was, yas – remind them of the momentous occasion.

Tyler Oakley Pay Attention To Me GIF from Tyleroakley GIFs

Fortunately, there’s no rule on birthdays – except that you only get one each year. Okay maybe two rules because (per the community standards of my last blog) murder remains a universal NO…. even on your birthday. #NoPurgeParties

I’ll even endorse the “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” approach. I get it girl – if you want to cry, hide, escape, lie about your birthday – live your life.

The only thing I truly believe we should all do on our birthdays is to take a moment and honor ourselves. Celebrate another lap around the sun that was never promised, and set intentions for the coming year.

This year some of my very best friends offered to come spend my actual birthday with me – which is special since we’re rarely all in the same place at the same time. I was ready to celebrate another year of growth with lots of laughs and many many carbs. I also wanted to honor and practice the forms of self-care that I’ve been finding most beneficial.

I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping particularly well for two nights between the general excitement of all being together, and sharing my bed. So I mentally prepared myself to skip the gym. It can be difficult to break from a routine, but I’ve regained a lot of power by planning the breaks ahead of time, rather than trying and failing to fit a mountain of activities into one day.  

I do get some great meditation time in during my workouts though, so I made sure to get it in a different way. I put away my Soaked (which I use almost every day) – and instead opted for an energizing and nourishing BIRTHDAY MORNING BATH, adding both an Awaken and a Love bath bomb to the water! It was my only 30-minutes alone in the 24-48 hour span, and it was perfect.

Next, in lieu of gifts, I asked my friends to go through their closets and do some spring cleaning. I declared that we would donate everything to the LGBT Youth Center here in Hollywood; from there, they serve at-risk LGBT youth and young adults across the greater-LA area. I was so proud to see what just the 6 of us were able to pull together.

And since we’d made so much room in our closets… I wanted the big “activity” of my birthday – besides a heavy incredible Italian dinner – to be an interpretive costume contest! We each pulled spirit guide cards out of a deck from @TheWildUnknown and adventured to DTLA for some shopping in the wilds of Santee Alley – which resulted in some phenomenal LEWKS and lots of laughs.

Pictured from left to right: a panther, a moth, a shark, an oyster, a beaver, and a dragonfly.

Pictured from left to right: a panther, a moth, a shark, an oyster, a beaver, and a dragonfly.

It was a birthday well-spent, and I feel great about our clothing donation, particularly with the change of seasons upon us, and at-risk and homeless youth numbers on the rise. We all know what it’s like to crave a wardrobe update – so here’s hoping our once-treasured items bring joy to someone who has very little. Consider incorporating something like this into your own birthday, for a cause near to your heart! Even if it’s one of those Facebook fundraisers – it might be one of the best gifts you give yourself.

If you’d like to keep the birthday spirit alive and have the means, please consider donating to the Los Angeles LGBT Center through their website.


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