Monday, January 02, 2006

Here it is, by popular demand.

Why My Birthday Depresses the Crap Out of Me

Most of my friends know that my birthday is not one of my finest days of the year. The big question this year was, “If your depressed by turning 25, what are you going to do when you turn 50?” My response was always the same; “Be really depressed!” The concept isn’t that hard to understand and hopefully I’ll be able to present my case well enough here that even my readers will become depressed at their birthday. Sort of a messed up goal, but hey, I guess I’m sort of a messed up guy.

Birthdays are a simple idea. All it is really good for is giving you a point during the year at which you can relate your accomplishments and disappoints to. If someone asks you when you did something you say, “Oh yeah. I did that when I was 18.” Yes I do have accomplishments I look back on, but I also have my disappointments. Regardless of how either of those two notions make you feel, the two help demonstrate the master conception: another year of my life is over. Simple as that. Being 24, yeah that’s done, gone, yesterday’s news, just a memory, an infinitesimally small point on the timeline of history. And what will being 25 hold for me? The same thing. And as if the previous year couldn’t have gone by fast enough, this year will go by even faster, and the year after that faster still.

Remember how when you were a kid and would watch Saturday morning cartoons each episode of Thundercats and My Little Pony seemed to take up half the day? Well genius those episodes were just as long as today’s TV shows, being a mere thirty minutes. Yesterday they seemed half the day and now you forget that thirty minutes even existed. A fifteen minute trip to the corner seemed like FOR-EV-ER! Now fifteen minutes isn’t even long enough to use the bathroom in the morning.

Besides, what is there really to look forward to in getting old (as if I’m not already there)? The aches and pains of getting out of bed? The inability to control your bladder? The memory loss, vision loss, hair loss, height loss? Wrinkles, ear hairs, brittle bones, bi-focals, tri-focals, decreased muscle mass, change anxiety, countless wives (did you catch that one?), sleep stage loss, backs that won’t bend, unmentionables that do, countless bills, children, knee problems, feet problems, teeth problems, joint problems, loss of balance, loss of hearing, loss of all things important to you like your friends, families, jobs, significant others, houses, pets, the ability to eat what you want. Honestly need I actually go on?

I see others around me that play the sports and do the activities that I do that are older and frankly you can tell they are older. They move slower, don’t bend over the whole way, fall harder, jump lower, bruise easier, get injured more frequently, get tired faster. I don’t want that.

In my short 25 years of existence more people have come and gone in my life than I care to recognize. High school buddies erased from my life, college best friends never to be heard from again, neighbors that moved away, loved ones that die. And frankly this is just the beginning. In the future I will have more friends disappear, children move on, parents pass away, career changes. Are you depressed yet?
The lives that each of us live seem so small, so insignificant already, do we really need a day to celebrate all that we were and all that we may be, but will soon forget anyway? I’d much rather just be. Forget about the past because it’s in the past, forget about the future because it hasn’t yet come and just live right now, right here. As long as I can do that, I should be a-okay.

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