I celebrated celebrated my birthday a week and a half ago. Thanks to some greats cousins and their friends here in Texas it was the complete opposite of what I expected.
I’ve had my share of disappointing birthdays.
Six birthdays passed while in the Navy. Some of them were great, some of them were good and some of them were terrible. Here are my Navy birthdays:
2008: I left boot camp on February 15th and went straight to Corry Station in Pensacola, FL. Since it was a training command what we were allowed to do was still limited until we went through all of our initial training and completed each of three liberty phases.
Phase 1 was the most restrictive: unable to wear civilian clothes, unable to leave the base and in your barracks room by 9:45 PM (11:45 on the weekends). Phase 2 you were allowed to wear civilian clothes and leave the base, but the curfew remained in effect. Phase 3 allowed for weekend liberty: after duty for the day (ie class) was completed you could leave base and not have to return until Sunday night, so long as we stayed within 300 miles of the base.
My birthday fell square in the middle of phase 1, a week after I arrived at Corry. I didn’t know anyone and wasn’t allowed to go anywhere, I couldn’t even wear what I wanted that day. Easily the worst birthday I’ve ever had.
2009: This is the birthday I do not remember. Looking at my Facebook eleven people wished me happy birthday. Granted Facebook wasn’t as ubiquitous in 2009. I was in Hawaii and still living in the barracks. If I were to hazard a guess I can assume I played video games and maybe went out to eat at Chili’s. That’s only a guess.
2010: The 21st birthday. No, I did not do anything crazy. My friends and I went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Waikiki and I had one drink. Something tropical, they gave me the cup. That cup is still kicking around somewhere. It was just an overall good birthday with good friends.
2011: My last birthday in Hawaii. I may have lied about 2009 being the only one I can’t recall because I don’t remember this one either. I was in my townhouse but I don’t know if we did anything or not. The beginning of 2011 was hectic for me between large family vacation, major car problems and prep for my surgery in April. Best guess would again be video games and food.
2012: First birthday away from Hawaii and first with family in 4 years. I drove up to Maryland from Virginia Beach to meet my friend Lisa and from there we headed north to New Hampshire. This birthday would be a mix of new and old: dinner at Chili’s with the family, Lisa and my newest (at the time, we had only talked a handful of times before) friend Tiffany. Traditional cheesecake, which for my family means nothing fancy instead made from a box mix. It was the best birthday I had had in a long time.
2013: I don’t exactly remember this birthday. I know who it was spent with (I assume actually) but since it was on a Saturday I can’t be too sure. The one thing I do remember is Troy claiming he would throw me a party and not following through with it. So where I actually was and what I was doing is sort of a mystery to me. If I did anything I know who it would have been with, so I guess that’s what counts.
2014: My most recent birthday (more of a birthday weekend) while not in the Navy was my first outside the Navy so I am including it anyways. I moved to Texas at the beginning of February and didn’t have most of my belongings and didn’t really know anyone. Thankfully two of my cousins, each of whom I hadn’t seen in years, about 20 years for one and about 14 years for the other, live a few exits down the highway from me. They made it their mission to have a great birthday weekend. They succeeded, with some advice and traditions relayed to them from my mom.
Those are my birthdays, the ones I can remember anyways. Funny how that goes sometimes. They’re just another day half the time. It all depends on who you have around.