"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Monday, December 26, 2011

all that glitters is gold

ever since a friend told me about golden birthdays, when we were probably 7 or 8 years old, i've been sorta latently anticipating it, slowly building it into this Moment that would like, validate my life. like, i kept telling myself by the time of my 26th birthday, my golden birthday, that i will have figured my life out.

because 26, to a 7 or 8-year-old, seemed so old. and i remember wondering at the time what kind of person i would be in what seemed like such a distant future (2011 sounded futuristic in the early 90s). would i be married? would i have kids by then? what would i be doing? how tall would i be? would i still have the same friends and enjoy the same books, where would i live? would i finally have pets by the age of 26?

as a kid, i figured by the time i became a 26-year-old, by the time of my golden birthday, i would have my shit figured out. i would have grown out of insecurities and achieved some dreams of mine, that surely by 26, life would be a little less rocky, i'd be a little more sure of myself, i'd be, you know, an adult.

another thing: the reason, i think, i put so much emphasis on my golden birthday as a kid was because earlier in my childhood, one of my teachers at the Montessori school told our entire class during circle time about the Hale-Bopp comet. apparently, this amazing astronomical event, this once-in-a-lifetime event, had just occurred the previous night and i had totally missed it. what was i doing!? this knowledge, that i would be dead the next time Hale-Bopp passed into visibility, was just too tragic and agonizing for me to handle as a small child. i think i cried thinking about myself dead in the ground while a magnificent meteor passed overhead and me without the eyes to see it, and then maybe possibly i threw up a little on the inside. henceforth i took to staring a lot at the sun, even though my teachers and parents told me to look away, and stood outside once in the winter with my dad observing a lunar eclipse - i had just taken a shower and it was so cold outside that my hair froze stiff in a rolled bun on top of my head.

basically, my golden birthday was my personal Hale-Bopp comet. i knew i was only going to get one chance at this in my lifetime, and i'd better get it right.

but you know what? i thought what i wanted on my birthday was luxurious, extravagant celebrations, a gilded cake, to be swaddled in gold lurex and lame and parade around like a Macy's day float. but what it turned out i needed most was to spend my birthday with my family and allow myself to be reminded how wonderful small moments can feel and how these moments can erase all the uncertainty i have about my life. every little day is a Hale-Bopp, you know? and i'd rather live my life appreciating the beauty of a million everyday stars than lament forever one shooting star.

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