It’s my birthday soon.
I should feel a deep wave of nostalgia right?
Like I’m getting old and I should be clinging to something from the previous years I have lived, and upset about most things I haven’t done…
Like I’m required to miss something about the previous years. Like not wanting something, some moment of youthfulness from the past makes me… weird!
I feel nothing, maybe not anymore, or maybe I have just stopped conforming to what birthdays dictate I do, asides being happy and hiding my age.
I don’t care much for birthday cakes… It doesn’t make it less of a birthday without one, but I let myself feel sad if I’m denied one, because birthdays are meant to have cakes according to whoever gave that unpardonable law. And so I sigh in feigned sadness if there’s no cake in one year… what’s a birthday without a cake, even if it’s a cupcake… one cupcake.
I’ll be 28… you can’t imagine the relief I felt when I realized I wasn’t going to be 29 like I thought… now that’s me saying two opposite things in the space of a few words right? Shrinking from age and same time not really caring about age. I allow myself a brief second to be scared and intimidated by my new age, to feel like it’s a heavy weight, but then I shrug and live.
That question, how old are you always sounds off like age truly defines you and what you have to say or where you stand in the world.
I am truly thankful for life.
But I’m tired of letting age dictate to me what should be and what fulfillment is…
Get married before 5
Graduate at 2
Own a car at 4
Own a house and a dog at 11
I should have finished working on the little project I have going by this birthday, because it was a deadline for the last birthday and the one before… but who says that’s what the timeline is meant to be like? Who says I’m not on track and it isn’t a failure or a disappointment that I let another year catch up with it? Who says that’s not the plan, the original plan to be done at a time not defined by age, or a sense of achievement from ticking it off the list?
It doesn’t make sense, being defined by the boundary of the number of years you have lived and what you’ve managed to pack… like a souvenir from each year, like a man who travels the world with a backpack, gathering exotic meaningful and useless artifacts to display on a shelf, not for himself, because he cares less about them, but to show off to his guests, make them see him as somewhat mysterious and whatever it is the impression he wants to give.
I’m no fool.
I want to achieve things and I want to be able to enjoy these things… So I want them when I’m young and strong enough to have expensive, meaningless adventures.
But I’ve decided not to race against time and age…
I will do what I want to, I will achieve, but not because an age limit has been set for me.
I will learn as I grow, not as my age defines… I’ve never been the typical 16yr old or 25yr old. So I may really be 49, be older than my age… but who’s asking?
I wouldn’t pretend to be what I’m not because age says so… I’ll only strive to find my purpose in God and live it out…
I’ll just celebrate being and keep digging to achieve, one day at a time… not just because I’m racing against or trying to catch up with 30 or 40 or 50…
And I will appreciate a birthday cake even if I don’t care much for it… but I will not sit and be gloomy, because 28 caught up with me, and the list has more unchecked items than the ticked.
Oh, my last birthday wish list was ticked real good. I’m thankful I got what I wanted in the last year.