I made an experiment, albeit the results were somewhat obvious or at least expected: I hid my birthday from Facebook, thus disabling the birthday notification on my friends’ Facebooks.
As expected, those who greeted me are from my tribe: my nuclear family, the friendships and relationships I nurtured thru the years, and others which are relatively new relationships, but are of those between kindred spirits or mutual respect and care.
There too, have been Happy Birthdays from people I wasn’t expecting to hear from—work relationships, a relative from afar, a friend I’ve been out of touch with, my first love (hehe)—and these were happy, warm surprises.
And there was this one person whom I had waited to hear from until late at night but didn’t come.
In the end I realized that although Facebook does help people connect and remind friends and acquaintances of one’s birthday day, it is those closest to my heart, those lives that have weight in my life, those whom I have a mutual kinship with, are the greetings and well wishes that I had longed for and have mattered to me thru the years.
And you know what? That circle has grown and continues to grow as I turn 33. And that is something I’m grateful for. Happy birthday to me. Cheers to this life that feels meaningful because of my tribe.