i woke up to a phone call this morning from my grandma. “happy birthday!” she said, and then asked why i wasn’t up yet. it had become the center of conversation, as though getting to sleep in wasn’t a perfect enough birthday present. i said i’d call back after my brother gave me the present she sent him up here with this weekend.
i opened emails this morning and logged into the obligatory social networking sites to check for new messages and replies to old ones. funny, the people who have already wished me happy birthday… the facebook team (and i hope they didn’t let the secret out!). my insurance agent. and my teenage half-sister.
today, i turn 27, which sounds a lot weirder, a little less dignified than 26, even though both cross the 25 year old mark and are only one year apart. remarkable, how age conscious we get at this point. my friends all said the same when they had their 27th, 28th, and 29th birthdays. (i was hoping to avoid that fate). by late 20s, we’re still young, but now expected to be more sensibly so. it becomes harder to reason the “we’re still young immunity” for stupid behavior in the future. “oh my god… but she’s 35!” they’d say if i tried to bomb down the waterslides again.
maybe at this age, there’s still that feeling that greatness should of been achieved by now. that legacy, rather than age itself so much, is what people strive for. and in this kind of age, you have to do it while you’re young, because it’s the youngsters that set the standards. it’s “cool” that sells. “fresh,” too, implicitly, but “cool” especially. i suppose that’s trying to get at what happiness is, and there’s the inevitable, collective pressure that happiness should come quickly and early. the grand success stories of so and so doing something great before turning 25.
this didn’t escape me. i’ve settled down in some ways, but i’m still floating around trying to make sense of the other half — “careers” and the professional life at this point, realizing that anything i do want to do, is really a struggle in terms of time, money, and a lot of other ways. or at least, research associate in a struggling non-profit in downtown DC wasn’t quite what i had in mind. (but who does?) neither are the sporadic public writings that i would hope culminate into something better.
“something better”… it’s all competition. and that sucks.
but i’m not bitter on my birthday. it’s been a great weekend doing silly shit with my brother who came to visit me for the occasion. and later today, we’ll have friends over to party and bullshit around the superbowl. soon, i’ll forget that i’m 27, and it won’t feel much different than if i was 26 because they are only a year apart. and the whole age consciousness is stupid, but i’ll secretly (too late!) be glad my friends are all still a little older than i am.
thanks for the birthday wishes, all!