As I turned 9, I was eagerly anticipating the outpouring of birthday wishes that would fill my day with excitement and joy. However, as the day progressed, I was left disappointed and wondered if I wasn’t deserving of love and celebration. But upon reflection, I realized that the significance of my special day and my worth were not contingent on how many people wished me a happy birthday. Birthdays are more than just external recognition; they’re a time to appreciate the love and joy within ourselves and the relationships and moments that truly matter. Though the birthday greetings may have been few, I’m determined to make this year one filled with self-love, growth, and unforgettable memories.