I have now been alive 23 full years. I just stepped into my 24th yesterday (May 24). It sometimes feels wierd -- the concept of birthday... rather, the way we observe this occasion. Growing up, I never `celebrated' my birthday, nor my brother's, nor my parents', as an occasion. They would wish me (or I would wish them) and be done with it. And we didn't expect anything more.
It took me a while to realize that for a lot of people I know, birthdays are a big affair. Moreover, they expect me to treat their birthdays as big affairs as well. I find this difficult. Birthdays are viewed as occasions for rejoicement, but I feel that they should, if anything, be occasions for reflection. However, as far back as I remember, when I look back at the past year, I count more shortcomings than acheivements. This deficit increases with age. I also think this is true with a majority of those who do care to look back.
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced there is no real reason to rejoice on anyone's birthday. Is there an occasion for Hope? Maybe... I can hope on a birthday that the rest of my life will not be as miserable as it has been until now. But rejoice... what for? The only thing I can think of is for having made it to this birthday alive.
All my morbid ideas have increased my desire to get wasted tonight. Now if there is one thing birthdays are an occasion for, it is getting wasted. Hell, yeah.
I also want to rant about why I HATE greeting with cards. It is probably the worst damned ritual civilization came up with. But that is for later...