My birthday was on Sunday. I turned 72-years-old. More on that later.

In the days leading up to my birthday, I realized I don’t like the number 27. It’s too close to 30. At least when I was 26, I could round down to 25, and pretend to be the middle of a teeter-totter.

Now, I’m just tipping the scale in one direction and it’s uncomfortable.

I think part of the problem is, I don’t feel this old. Last year, it took me a solid 5 months to remember that I was 26.

And some of you reading this are probably thinking, “Ohh Paul, you’re still young!”

But I’ve never been this old!

Time feels like it’s flying and I don’t know how to stop it.

Do you remember where you were five years ago, today?

I do.

I was right where I am now. Sitting in a chair, at this desk, in the wee hours of the morning, typing a blog post.

That one was called, “I Miss School, Already“. A chill just ran throughout my body, that’s how fresh it still feels to me.

I was so sad, while writing it. I felt displaced.

I put my heart into that post and though the layout of it is very simple, it’ll always be my favourite.

A few days before I wrote that, I was starting to get discouraged with my blog. I distinctly remember wondering if I’d ever get more than 32 blog views in a day, or if I had peaked. I thought that was as good as it would get.

And then, bam.

Two days after that post went live, it was featured, and blew up.

1045 views in one day. I was shaking all day, that’s not an exaggeration. There’s more to this story, but I’m not willing to share that part yet. Maybe in a few years. Stay tuned.

I’m now telling you all this to brag about stats. They don’t matter.

I’m telling you this because that day – the one when I wrote about missing school – feels like yesterday. Every day since then, it has felt like yesterday. I can’t escape it.

Yesterday was not Monday. Yesterday was the day I wrote that post. In my mind, at least.

The five years in between feel like a really long dream. There have been days where I tell myself, “Ok Paul, you can wake up now. Wake up. Wake up!”

No matter what I do, no matter where I go, part of me is still stuck in 2013. Part of me is still stuck at school.

Yeah, I still miss it. Maybe not to the same extent, but there’s a reason why I don’t read that blog post anymore. Wouldn’t be able to get through it.

At the time, I received comments from people all over the world.

A few of them told me that every year, when September rolls around, they miss school. These people had graduated 10, 15, 20 years ago. They still missed it.

I didn’t understand them. Now, I do.

And all this time, I’ve felt guilty about missing school, when I shouldn’t.ย As cheesy as it sounds, I finally came to a moment of enlightenment this past Sunday.

It’s perfectly fine to look back and smile, laugh, cry – whatever you need to do.

But the trade off is this: you can’t stay there. If you stay there, you forfeit all the smiles, laughs, and tears that have happened since. And that’s not worth it.

There’s a quote I heard a few years ago: “If you live in the past, you die every day.” I think that’s applicable.

While the last five years flew by, there were many days that stood still, and moments that stood out.ย I think the future holds more of those moments, no matter how hard this whole growing up thing has been.

If you can relate to anything I’ve said so far, let me know.

Now then, let’s have some fun!

On Saturday, my sister texted me something along the lines of, “How do you feel that your birthday weekend is about to begin?” I replied, “Fine.”

But the tone of her text tipped me off. I knew right away that in a matter of moments, balloons were going to enter the house. I have a 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th sense, don’t test me.

Sure enough, a giant 2 and a giant 7 entered the house.

Balloons. Blue.

And then 99 red balloons followed.

I immediately set them up to say 72, because I’m a child and an old man, stuck in a 27-year-old’s body.

I will say, though, the balloons have softened me to the number 27. It’s not as intimidating anymore.

Sunday rolled around and we went off to my favourite Italian buffet. When I was about 6 or 7, they took a picture of me and my mom standing at the pasta station and put it in their brochure.

Yes, we still have multiple copies of the brochure.

I like to boast that I was a child model, as well as a model child. No one can tell me I’m wrong.

Then we came home and it was time for my annual, “Sit at the table with the cake and hold up the cutlery, as if you’re about to dig in like a caveman” photo. That photo goes back to my third birthday, at least.

I had three friends ask me if I was going to do “the picture with the cake” this year and post it on social media.

Somehow, I’ve created an irreversible trend, which will only escalate each year as I try and make each one unique.

A few years ago, I recreated the photo from my 10th or 11th birthday? I don’t know how old I was, but I was wearing a Dallas Stars, 1999 Stanley Cup Champion shirt. It was one of my favourite shirts back then.

So, present day Paul put on a green Dallas Stars shirt and posed for the annual cake photo in the same way I did as a kid. Boom, symmetry.

This year, I put the balloons behind me to show that I was 72-years-old. Photos were also taken to show that I was 27, but why would I share those with the public?

Go humour or go home.

I’m not posting that photo here. If I’ve welcomed you into my life via permission to follow me on Instagram, you get to see it. The rest of you will just have to imagine the brilliance.

Oh, and the caption was, “What’s my age again?” because that’s the only caption that could’ve possibly went with the photo.

Actually, my other caption idea was, “Forever Old” and then when I actually turn 72, I’d post a picture with balloons that say 27 and the caption would be, “Forever Young”, but I didn’t really feel like waiting 45 years to complete the joke.

This is how my mind works.

I’ve bragged a lot in this post, but I’m hoping you all see past it.

Wait, one more brag.

The birthday card my mom bought had Snoopy in it and said something about me being classy. I was told she bought the card because I “really am classy.”

So, there you have it. I am a classy individual.

I’ll end by giving you something to think about, since I’m an older, wiser, intellectual individual with a 4PM dinner time.

I get really bothered when people turn 27 (or any age) and say, “I can’t wait to see what my 27th year has in store for me!”

No, you fool! You’ve already completed your 27th year. You’re starting your 28th year. Do the math!

Age is a number. Age is not a person. You are a person.

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54 Responses to 27

  1. Angela says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Paul!
    I used to laugh when my Grandparents said they still felt like they were 18, now I get it! I feel like birthdays come around at lightening speed since I turned 21 (I’ve had 14 birthdays since then), I still miss school sometimes too, I also still miss being 8 and being brave enough to go on the old tree swing! Age is just a number and birthdays are blessngs ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you had lots of cake!!!
    Keep being classy ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Angela! I always thought Grandparents were kidding about that too! My grandfather is in his mid 80s but still moves around as if he’s 25 years younger. I hope I’m like that. And oh yes, lots of cake was consumed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Iโ€™m not sure if itโ€™s going to help at all but at 31, I still miss going back to school in September! Even if I do get to experience that feeling a little bit with my kidlets. And getting to 30 isnโ€™t that bad. I was dreading it too but itโ€™s honestly just another day where you donโ€™t feel any older than you did the day before.

    Oh!! And happy birthday!! ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jess says:

    Woooo welcome to the 27 train! It feels exactly the same. I love getting older. Probably because I look like I’m 16 so when I actually say how old I am, their eyes bulge out and it’s big fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Meg says:

    Happy birthday!
    Yesss I’m not the only one who thinks that when I see number balloons!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. bexoxo says:

    Haven’t you heard that 30 is the new 20? (Whatever that means…)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chichi says:

    Happy Belated Birthday, Paul! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Perhaps it’s just something that happens for all ages? I know I get anxious at every approaching birthday…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. peckapalooza says:

    Happy birthday!

    For the record, I’m 38. But I still feel as if I’m still in my mid-20s. I really hope that feeling never ever goes away.

    For another record, that feeling I’m talking about is definitely a mindset. Because once 30 hits, the physical feelings definitely aren’t the best. Joints popping, back aching for no apparent reason, suddenly having an entire large pizza at 2:00 a.m. is a bad idea… Oh, to be in my mid-20s again…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      In the years that we’ve known each other, you’ve never struck me as someone in their mid-late thirties, even if I knew otherwise. You’re definitely a solid 28 years old in my book.

      My knees have been cracking when I stand up since I was about 12 haha I’m used to it.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Squid says:

    Ooohh love these thoughts, Paul! Happy 72nd bday!! LOLOL I love that you switched the balloons around, because we just went to a friend’s 18th bday and the balloons kept switching on their own, so she was 81 in a few pics, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy belated birthday! I remember while I was in school, alumni would come back to visit and I thought it was so weird. But I still miss it all the time and have felt kind of pathetic recently for still feeling that way so I can totally relate and loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Rosie! Glad you could relate. I guess it’s a good thing that we miss it, it just means there were a lot of good memories. I’ve only been back twice since graduating. It’s too hard walking around campus, every little thing brings about nostalgia overload.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. randyjw says:

    Awww… Hope you had a happy birthday, Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sarah Warsi says:

    Hope you had a great birthday, Paul! And I’m 35 – so don’t feel bad at all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Tanushka says:

    Happy birthday sweetheart!
    (I say that because I think you have a sweet heart not because I’m your aunt.)
    May you continue to be as wonderful as you are. I, despite being 16, relate to the line regarding missing school. I dropped out of traditional schooling to get homeschooled and prepare for some big exams in 2020 (it’s not as uncommon in india) and most of my friends have been detached from me. I miss being in 10th, I miss sleeping during class and having people cover me up. I miss giggling during break. I miss that life. I am still in close contact with everyone, but we’re not sitting together for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week.
    I can’t yet relate about feeling old, because 17 feels exciting. It’s just a year away from adulthood, from freedom. Maybe because I’ve never experienced it, I am romanticising being old, but what do I know? I’m just a kid. Maybe when I’m 27 I’ll come back to this post and agree. Maybe there won’t be internet anymore and we’d all be slaves of robots. I don’t know man, 11 years is a long time. But I hope I continue to read your blog for as long as you write, and firm many more memories in the comments section.
    Best Wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      “Not because I’m your aunt” hahah thanks for that laugh and the kind words!

      Yeah, I think we all dread going to school at some point because of all the sitting and listening, but really it’s like a gathering of all the people we like in one place at the same time and that makes it fun. Enjoy your teenage years while life is still slow. Your 20s will blow by.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy birthday a little late, you young whipper snapper

    Liked by 2 people

  14. markbialczak says:

    Happy Birthday, Paul. I do believe you are a classy individual with the sense to appreciate every darn day as it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kara's Kloud says:

    I hope you had a fabulous birthday, Paul! I thought I was depressed turning 20, but 27 is a pretty big number too. It’s scary to think how close that is to 30, but just remember that it’s just considered close right now and that you aren’t quite there yet! You seem to keep yourself young at heart, so look at it that way. As long as you don’t see any noticeable gray hairs when you look in the mirror, you can always be whatever age you want. Who’s really going to know the truth besides your family and the government ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Kara! I think I ate too much, therefore it was a great day. I feel like I just turned 20 haha times flies, enjoy it while you can! “Who’s really going to know the truth besides your family and the government” sounds like a sound bite in a commercial for a new crime TV show lol

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ely says:

    Lol! I love this. First of all, the idea with the 72 forever old at 27 and then 27 forever young at 72- is pure BRILLIANCE! I would still be reading your blog in 40+ years just waiting for that hahaha. Have you ever thought of putting together a timeline of the same birthday photos where you can see the evolution of Paul? You know? Like those time line silhouette pics of the ape to Neanderthal /caveman/man or whatever where they’re all hunched over and then suddenly they’re standing up straight? Ha! That would be uh-mazing!!!! Paulvolution.
    Also? I have to agree with mom on the whole being classy thing you seriously are a classy one! AND a brochure model. I mean. Pffffftttt. Do you have a flaw?! Hahahah!!!

    Also? About school. This might be me intruding… but I’m still going to ask. Have you considered going back for a masters? And then a phD in sportology which would make you a sports doctor! AND THEN you’re guaranteed anywhere from 2-6 more years of Septembers or something! I’m just saying. I get these feelings where I crave a classroom OFTEN. Unfortunately I’ve exhausted my loan opportunities but that’s a post you just inspired. I miss school too.
    This was too long. lol I’m sorry!
    You’re the best Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      That would be so cool if 40 years from now we were still blogging hahah “Let me tell you kids about what WordPress was like in 2018, but first, a nap!” LOL

      I really should put together some sort of collage of birthday photos. For now, I’ll rely on my sister saving them on her phone lol

      “Do you have a flaw?” Hahah once I became a brochure model, I was destined for a life of flawlessness.

      You’re not intruding at all. To be honest though, as much as I miss school, I don’t miss the work aspect of it, or the classroom time. I haven’t got that itch to return and further my education. I also think writing essays at this point would be incredibly difficult, considering my writing style has transformed into very conversational. Not sure I know how to write professional and without starting sentences with “I”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ely says:

        LOL @ your “flaw” I can’t deal with you. And I can understand about missing school but not missing the “work”. And can you imagine me writing an ACTUAL graded essay?! The red markings would be something along the lines of: “who do you think you are?!” “WHHHHAAATT???!!” “How did you graduate high school?!” “Scratch that. How did you pass beyond the 4th grade?!” “GET OUT OF MY CLASSROOM!”

        I start sentences with “and” and “Also? let me just explain something…” and I talk to myself WAY to much in between parethesis. “Please seek Jesus” they’ll tell me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Hahaha pfftttt you’d be teaching the class by the end of the first day…even if it means setting up a projector in the hallway and calling it “Alternative Learning”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ely says:

        You can’t tell I was driving when I typed this can you?! Wow. Typo City. So embarrassing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Haha I could not! Typos add character. BUT STOP RISKING YOUR LIFE FOR MY BLOG.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Ely says:

    You’re the best Paul (of all Pauls) but I really meant you’re the best, Paul! Lmao I need to lay off the caffeine. Ok bye.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Happy belated birthday Paul ๐Ÿ™‚ I like what you said about if we live in the past, we die every day. 5 years ago I was reading that amazing post of yours! Sure I miss school, but as you said- I wasnโ€™t meant to be there forever ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! Yup, we’re forever bonded by that post. Seems like just yesterday, while feeling like a lifetime ago. I’m still so happy my words helped you through your experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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