Today is my birthday.
You know what, I don’t know if I want to write this post anymore. It’s just so self-serving. No one on WordPress is notified when it’s a blogger’s birthday. We have to notify everyone else, ourselves.
It’s the obligatory “Aw shucks, well would you look at that, it’s my birthday” post, that comes with a wink and a nudge (I’d prefer fudge, but nooo) and an expectation that whoever reads your post will wish you a “Happy Birthday!”.
This will lead to us receiving birthday wishes from people all over the world and inflate our ego to levels only a helium ballon (with your age on it) could relate to.
No, I will not partake in this charade. This…this…horrible hoodwinking hatastrophe (Gimme a break with the alliteration, okay) which would only cause havoc! This…misuse of my blogging platform! I will not stand for it! I might sit though…
Nay, I say! Nay!
I will not do one of those “(Insert Age) Things I’ve Learned In (Insert Age) Years” posts. I am better than that!
I am Paul! The birthday boy! And I am better than every other blogger who subtly begs for birthday wishes!
Alright, can I stop with the act? I’m 100% here for the birthday wishes.
So without further adieu, here are: 26 Things I’ve Learned In 26 Years!
I honestly don’t mind when people do those posts. Don’t let my sarcasm dissuade you from doing them in the future. That was a big word, wasn’t it? “Dissuade”.
Didn’t Elvis have a song called, “Dissuade Shoes”? Oh, the voices from the serious part of my brain are saying it was “Blue Suede Shoes”. Go figure,
it’s your birthday, gonna party like it’s your birthday.
Um, where do I go from here?
When I graduated from university, I was 21-years-old. The world was my slip and slide. It wasn’t my oyster – those are far too small and way less fun.
I finished my four years of school and thought I knew everything.
I could give presentations without reading from a script. I could memorize multiple lists and regurgitate them on exams. I could tell you why the sub station in the cafeteria was moving slowly.
I knew it all. With confidence through the roof and more friends than fingers and toes could count, I was on top of the world.
It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t know much. That my farewell Facebook status which included the line “I know who I am” (Or something along those lines), was nothing more than five words of baloney.
Life hits you in the face when you get comfortable. When you fall into a routine with the months on the calendar and then the routine is gone, what do you do? I didn’t know.
My life had always been the same thing. The Labour Day long weekend would arrive. My birthday would land in close proximity. And then school would start a few days later.
Sometimes, school started on my birthday.
That happened in Grade 12. One teacher noticed it on their attendance sheet and pointed it out as they called my name. The rest of the class turned around and said, “It’s your birthday?”
I still don’t know if that was a trick question.
I always thought my birthday was a Fall birthday. I’ve always correlated September with the Fall. It’s one of the reasons why Fall is my favourite season.
But a few months ago, I realized my birthday technically lands in the Summer. I am still extremely disappointed by this. It’s never felt like a Summer birthday.
In elementary school, on one of the last days of school in June, they would announce all the summer birthdays over the PA System. During the school year, they would announce student’s birthdays, the day of.
Well, mine never got announced with the summer birthdays because they never took into account the birthdays that fell between the end of August and the first day of school.
Thanks for not caring about me!
Except in Grade 1, sorta. My birthday was the first day of school. They didn’t announce it. I’m pretty sure my mom made them announce it the next day. Minor victory.
So yeah, my birthday always got shoved in with a holiday and the first day of school. I didn’t mind. It always felt like September was the first month of the year.
I was born on Labour Day Monday. I’ve been a pun since the beginning.
When school wasn’t involved in my “routine” for the first time in 2013, it was a shock to the system. I didn’t know what to do with myself. My body felt like it should’ve been somewhere else.
At 26, I’m still trying to figure out who I am. That being said, I’m more sure of who I am now, than I was when at 21. I think that’s the point.
We don’t know what we don’t know, until we know. Ya know?
School made us compare ourselves to others every single day, whether we realized it or not. The one thing everyone needs to know about life, is that you can’t compare yourself to anyone. Doing so will crush you.
There are people my age who are married, have kids, have been at the same job for five years, live on their own, and can’t write a grammatically correct social media status.
I can’t claim ownership of any of those things. None of them are me. I am not that 26-year-old.
I am over here still trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing, all while dodging questions at Christmas parties and disappointing stares, which may just all be in my head.
This past year, I made an effort to reconnect with the things that once brought me joy, that I had neglected as time wore on. Doing so meant I unintentionally (subconsciously intentional?) cut out some friends in the process. I was selfish this past year. I don’t regret it.
My circle of friends is smaller, and if I’m honest, I like it this way. I like the conversations that don’t have a set beginning and end. The ones that don’t start with “Hey” and end with “I gotta go, bye”. I’m tired of them.
I like to think of my life as a giant puzzle. Time reveals each piece.
I can look back at the pieces I’ve already put together around the edges and see why they fit. But I can’t look forward to the middle of the puzzle because there is just a giant hole there.
If you tell your life story in reverse over, it makes even more sense than it does chronologically. Try it.
I’m still trying to figure out why time has gotten faster as I’ve gotten older. Are we not putting the same amount of seconds in each minute anymore?
Who can I talk to about this? Father Time? Mother Minute? Second Son? Daughter Digital Clock?
I mean, if you think about, we basically grow up in front of the mirror in our bathroom. One day, we’re climbing on the counter, trying to reach the faucet on our own. The next day, our feet don’t dangle anymore when we sit on the toilet.
We change. We don’t always see it happen. We just know that it did.
But for now, it is my birthday and I want cake.
I like to think of cake as a frosted puzzle piec-….
Alright, now I’m just getting weird
I gotta go, bye.