Artist Hanan Tarik has cooked her birthday

Birthdays are a sensitive topic. Some people despise them and try to erase the dates from their own calendars from their coworkers’ calendars. Others plan their parties months in advance and sever ties with anyone who don’t remember to wish them well. Being an only kid and a Leo, I’ve spent the majority of my life partying in the second camp. Typically, I enjoy my day for myself. Sulkily, I considered who, among my friends, appeared to be the happiest on their birthdays: not the women who had agreed to go out to dinner with their boyfriends only to find that they missed the girls, and most definitely not the Queen, who appears to be bored at most of her celebrations. Actually, you don’t need embroidered towels, smoked salmon and caviar room service, or floor to ceiling windows to reestablish your sense of peace. This experiment would have been successful on a leisurely stroll, in the back of my favourite bookstore, at a spa in the country, or during a breakfast for one. But the finest present you can give yourself on your birthday is time alone, I’m now certain. Nothing may make you appreciate your friends and family more than the serenity and quiet without them, whether it’s the entire celebration or just the calm before the party.

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