Life & Travel

Here's How To Celebrate Your Birthday...As An Ambivert Or Introvert

Listen, don’t even get me started on all of the sheer creative geniuses that the Gemini season produces (you can check out a mere handful of them via an ESSENCE article from a few years backhere); however, when it comes to my DNA and some members of my tribe, we’re Gemini deep too. My paternal grandparents are both Geminis. My mother, her late brother, and my own brother are Geminis. My mother’s husband is a Gemini. Both of my goddaughters are Geminis. Two of my closest male friends are Geminis. And yes, I am a very proud Gemini as well.

And although I “don’t do holidays,” virtually everyone in my world knows that if there’s a time of the year when I’m gonna be close-to-obnoxious, without any type of reservation or apology, it’s June 17, especially when it’s a milestone year (read between the lines there, chile…LOL). And so, when my peeps asked what I wanted to do this year, especially when one of them suggested a party, all I did was roll my eyes as far back into my head as I could.

As an also proud ambivert (check out “What Exactly Is An Ambivert? How Can You Tell If You Are One?”) and someone who likes to keep my circles…separate (check out “Why I Prefer My Friends To NOT Be Friends With Each Other”), the absolute last thing I want to do is pay to celebrate myself (ain’t it wild how most folks end up bankrolling their own birthday parties only for folks to eat up all of their food and oftentimes not even bring a gift?!) with a room full of folks. Nah, I prefer to go all out, even on “big” years, in a different kind of way.

If you just read all of that and thought to yourself, “FINALLY. Someone who gets where I’m coming from!” — whether you’re a Gemini too (and if so, Happy Birthday! We are so bomb!) or you consider yourself to be an introvert or ambivert and you have a birthday coming up over the next few months, here are seven ways that I have honored my own special day in the past and will be commemorating this year. It has worked hella well for me. Maybe it can be for you, too, sis.

1. One-on-One Dinners with Friends

Hands down, one of my favorite ways to celebrate my birthday is to go out to eat with friends; however, I prefer to take the one-on-one approach. For one thing, y’all know that Geminis have different sides (that really is true), and so, since my circle is rather eclectic, I like to bond with each person individually.

Plus, when you go out with one person at a time, think of how many brunches, lunches, or dinners you can have (based on how large your circle is) that you don’t have to pick the tab up on.

For instance, this year, I am literally going out for three weeks straight, at least five days out of each of those weeks — and each friend has told me that I can go wherever I want to go. And chile, if there’s one thing that Music City’s got, it’s an abundance of restaurants and cuisines! Yep — a very celebratory approach that is also intimate and pretty non-stressful is to set up dinner dates with each friend instead of going out with a room full of folks. I’ve done it for years. I have not one regret.

2. Do an Annual Collection of Something


For about the past decade, at least three people in my world will ask me, about a month out from my birthday, what I will be collecting for the year. For instance, this year, I’m all about a particular stone that symbolizes things like rejuvenated energy, spiritual evolution, and divine wisdom. It never fails that, right around April or so, there will be something that I am drawn to — whether it’s a certain color, a stone or crystal, or a certain type of jewelry…hell, one time it was Pumas (because the actual animal represents things like power and patience).

It’s cool to get a lot of things in a “theme” because it’s empowering and a confirmation to remain in that type of head and heart space until another year rolls around. If you’ve never done something like this before, consider it. It’s fun to see what people come up with once you put them in a general direction of something — something that you know you don’t only want, but you want to be emphasized in your life for the next 12 months.

3. Host a Virtual Party


When it comes to introverts, you’ve probably heard thatthere is so much going on within them that large groups can be quite draining (as opposed to extroverts who enjoy getting energy from outside sources). That’s why large parties, even when they are for them, oftentimes feel more like work than fun. Okay, but what if you’re having a milestone year and you want to find a way to merge a traditional party with your own personality type? Something that you might want to do is hold a virtual birthday party.

You can stagger out your guests by giving them different times to log in to something like a Zoom call; that way, you can control how many people you are dealing with at any given time and sign off when you know that your bandwidth is going low (it's also cost-effective as all get out!). Something else that’s cute about this idea is you can have different themes to each set of “callers.”

For instance, with your low-key friends, you can keep it casual on the appearance tip, and then, with your bougie friends, everyone can dress up. If this piques your interest and you’d like to get some planning tips, clickhere andhere for a few ideas.

4. Create a 'Date Yourself' Calendar


Uh-huh. While social media is out here debating over $200 dates, what I want to know is how many folks who say others are “broke” make it a point to spend that much on themselves. Yeah…EXACTLY. LOL. There are so many benefits that come from “dating yourself.” It reminds you to prioritize yourself. It builds/boosts self-confidence. It helps you to learn more about your interests, passions, likes, and dislikes. It can encourage you to learn how to try new things. It’s a wonderful form of self-love.

And here’s the thing about birthdays — while God willing, you will have many more years to come, what you won’t ever see again is the age you will be on your next birthday…so, the more that you can prioritize to make it your best year yet, the better. In walks creating a calendar where you can plan dates ahead for yourself; ideally, no less than two of them a month. It can be a staycation, a day trip, or even just trying out a new restaurant. Starting off a new age with some pre-planned dates will always give you something to look forward to. Try it. I’d be shocked if you didn’t like it. A LOT.

5. Rock a New Lipstick, Crystal, Scent and Color


If there’s one saying that irks the mess outta me, it’s “People can’t change.” Ain’t it funny how the folks who usually say something like that believe that no one else is capable — oh, but they can? Now, what kind of nonsense is that? The reality is thatthere are plenty of studies to back up the fact that most of us go through personality changes, more than once, over the course of our lives. One article that I read said that we tend to shift the most in the areas of neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness, extroversion, and agreeableness. For example, we might be “less neurotic about conforming to the group, less open to trying new things in order to savor the classics, less conscientious as they become more selfish, and less extroverted as they keep more to themselves” as we age.

A line that I particularly liked in the piece is we must accept that people are clay, not plaster. That said, since each year brings forth a new number, as you’re exploring what else may be different (or shifting), treat yourself to a new color of lipstick, a new crystal or gemstone to wear, a new scent to put on and a new “favorite color.” You’d be amazed by how much simple adjustments like this can have a pretty big impact on how you move in each new year of your life.

6. Get a 'Reward Yourself' Jar


Those of you who are day one Sex and the City fans will probably recall the episode when Carrie went to a child’s birthday party, someone stole her shoes and she registered herself to get the pair back from the couple. If you didn’t see it (you can watch a clip for contexthere), her bottom line point was singles are always supporting couples and parents with their stuff (ain’t that the truth, chile?), so they should be able to get some love, too. She’s right. Somewhat along these same lines, regardless of what your relational status may be at the turn of your next birthday, you should celebrate and reward yourself as often as possible.

If you agree in theory, yet your budget is rolling its eyes at you — get yourself a big ass jar to “reward yourself” with. Every time that you reach a goal, do something that you’re proud of or shoot, restrain yourself in a way that you wouldn’t have in the past, and put some money into it. It can be a quarter or five bucks. Along the same line of a sex jar that I recommend for long-term couples (check out “5 Reasons Why Every Married Couple Needs A Sex Jar”), commit to not taking any money out of the jar until your next birthday rolls around; then splurge however you wish. It’s a totally debt-free way to prioritize celebrating you…year-round.

7. Find a 'Theme Word' for the Year


Final one. You know, it never fails that right around my birthday and then around the time of year that I observe as the new one (Rosh Hashanah), I will pray and ask God to give me a new word to focus on for that season of my life. It also never fails that he will give me one. Like the year that my house literally blew up three days before Christmas (check out “My House Burned Up. Three Days Before Christmas. What It Taught Me.”)? 2022 was ROUGH. However, around my birthday that year, “replenish” was the word that came to me, and it gave me the strength to keep pushing to come up with a new normal for my life.

The word for my birthday this year? I’m going to keep to myself; at least for now. As for you and your own word(s), just remember that the Scripture says that death and life are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and so, it's important to respect the words that you use. As far as theme words go, they can really help you to orchestrate your life with clarity and direction. I can certainly attest to that.


Aight, like I said, this is my own birthday month, and with my own special day steadily approaching, let me get off of this thing so that I can go on another dinner date.

Ah, the life of an ambivert. Wouldn’t have it any other way. #wink

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