Birthday Blog Spectacular

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Have you ever looked in the mirror and said, “Who the hell is that?” Not me. I know exactly who I am most of the time.

Admittedly, I’ve had my share of random existential crises.

When I was seven, I was vacuuming the living room and felt strangely disassociated with my surroundings. It was like Déjà vu, but instead of experiencing something that already happened, I questioned whether it was happening at all.

Was I me or just some kind of vessel? How did I come to be in that living room at that time (the 1980s), cleaning the house for allowance money? Questions swirled through my inner consciousness, leaving me bewildered. Existence reflected upon me like a hall of mirrors.

I panicked at thinking of life as a TV show or a dream. Nearly a decade later, The Truman Show ran with the same idea to great success. It’s just like Hollywood to steal the thoughts of a seven-year-old Nintendo addict in knee-high socks. They have no shame.

Altered States

photo of empty well lit hallway

A similar incident occurred at work a few years back. I was walking down the hall toward the restrooms when my age and being all came into question.

I slowed upon the realization that I’d never know what things would be like a hundred years from then. Everything I ever knew would be nothing.

My life was a microscopic blip on a planet billions of years old and occupied by billions of people throughout seven continents.

Thousands of years of human history, the rise and fall of ancient civilizations, and the vastness of all life in all its forms proved overwhelming.

That alone was reason enough to leave work and go to Dairy Queen for a breather, but as a loyal employee, I remained.

Back in my day

I look at the natural world and question whether we deserve such majestic wonder. Each year denotes a single revolution around the sun. It’s been forty-four wild trips for me so far. I hope I learned some things.

You could fill volumes with what I don’t know about cooking, for instance, quantum physics, accounting, sports stats, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sometimes I wonder if I’m good at any of the things I do know how to do.

Ice cream cake, 2017 (disregard the numbers)

The adage about wisdom through experience is accurate. A lifetime of knowledge gained through various ups, downs, and everything in between is more valuable than five Harvard doctorates. Maybe six if you’ve been through a lot.

Forties birthdays are a begrudging ritual that come out of nowhere. They lack the excitement and discovery of childhood as the noose tightens of a hundred ongoing goals failing to materialize.

It’s also the beginning of the great collapse, where anything and everything can go wrong with your body. Boxes get heavier, stairs get longer, and everything annoys you.

Birthday Blowout

There’s no reason I can’t have a birthday party at McDonald’s. I’m an adult and can do whatever I want. Growing up in the golden eighties and nineties left many of my generation resistant toward adulthood.

We hold on to the treasured cultural milestones of that era, embracing the music, movies, toys, and video games of our youth. I suppose it’s no different than every other generation, but we’re special. We had Mr. T.

I’m thankful for another year on this magnificent planet in the greatest country in the world. Life isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t need to be as long as we’re still here.

The big bday score of 2021

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