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Birthdays and the number 23

Last Saturday I turned 23, so this post is a few days late. I didn’t have a party, cake, or celebration of any kind. It’s not that I’m a bore, it just that as I’ve gotten older the excitement of celebrating birthdays or holidays or any kind of celebration just seems unnecessary. I suppose when you’re young you celebrate because you made it through another year, which given my health condition, I should still be celebrating for this reason. Then, when you’re very old, you celebrate because you’re still alive, or your family celebrates for you.

Nicholas Cage had a line in the movie The Weather Man of something to this effect. When you’re growing up there’s all these people you imagine yourself becoming. As you get older, the number of these people become less and less until one day, there’s only one person left, and that person is who you are. As kids, we all fantasize about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Well here we are, all grown up, not how you imagined your life to be, and having to accept that. Michael Caine, who plays Nicholas Cage’s father in the movie, tell his son that nothing about being an adult is easy.

Having our thunder stolen and finding out reality isn’t our fantasy is hard for any of us to come to terms with. Having to deal with life’s crap day in and day out and having responsibilities just makes things worse. However, I see it differently. I’m no where close to being the person I wanted to be, but I am proud of my accomplishments thus far and being able ot handle the difficulties of life. Though that isn’t something to celebrate about, that is definitely something to feel good about. Everyone comes into their own at their own pace, and growing up doesn’t happen overnight on your 18th or 21th birthdays, it’s a progression. Some people become great at a young age, old age, or centuries after they’ve died. As long as we keep taking steps towards what we wanted to be, whether if its just one step at a time, birthdays will mean something without any celebrations.

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