Sunday, 22 April 2012

Birthday resolutions

Today I turned 24. April 22 is also Earth day, so happy bEARTHday to me! *cough* For those inclined towards self-evaluation, there are two annual events that cause individuals to spend some time in introspection: New Years and birthdays. New Year's resolutions are notorious for being doomed to fail and consist mostly of general health and well-being goals (lose weight, stop smoking/drinking, etc.) or aims of fulfilling dreams and becoming less boring (travel, read more, learn a new language, etc.) Apart from feeling guilty about overeating at Christmas, there's a desperate hope that the new year will be better than the last.

Birthdays fill one with a sense of urgency. When we're young, all we want to do is get older so that we can do those things we're not allowed to do as kids. Once we're older, all we want is to be younger again, probably because we feel that we're running out of time. Life's also more colourful and exciting when we're young. So when a birthday comes along, underneath all the warm fuzzies that we get from the abundance of messages and phone calls is a feeling of panic that we're getting old and running out of time.

These slightly cynical and fatalistic musings sound as if they come from an old geyser, not someone who's just turned 24. Perhaps this is so because my birthday gift to myself this year was a retirement annuity fund. Nothing makes one aware of one's mortality quite like applying for a pension fund. It's said that one can never start too early to invest in a pension fund, but to me it just seemed like something someone would do only when they've got it all figured out. Once you've set off in the great rat race and you've made it clear you can go some distance and it's not a 100m sprint, you get a pension fund.

All I can say is, I'm not so sure I've "got it all figured out" and I'm actually OK with that. It's ridiculous to imagine that at age 24 I know exactly what my life will be like. It's ridiculous that we're expected to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives after we finish high school. People are such dynamic, multi-dimensional beings but it seems like we love to make ourselves one-dimensional.

So this year's birthday resolution is to be more multi-dimensional! +1 to me for expanding in the direction of the blogosphere.

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