Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It's my 21st Birthday!! A time to celebrate, but also to look back... and reflect
It's 1:15 AM, I'm sitting on the couch of my basement room floor in my house. I've got an open beer to my left, my bongo to my right, and metallica blasting from my laptop speakers (someone just closed the door from the main floor leading to the basement - too loud I presume :)
I don't really feel like sleeping tonight, because why would I want to waste such a day like this?
(I actually have to finish up an overdue essay.. guess I can't have it all my way..)
Today is December 16 and 21 years ago today I was born. No matter what country, I'm considered an adult. It's a little something worth contemplating amidst my happy state of mind.
To be honest, up until the clock actually struck 12, I wasn't all that excited. I had just finished up a very long week and clearly I was still feeling its effects. But it felt more than just that...
I was waiting in line today with my mother at the local WalMart. She had just finished placing a bunch of random things on the checkout table. One of those things was a birthday card, which she specifically told me to go away and keep busy while she looked for one. After carefully placing it on the checkout table away from my what my eyes could see, she turned to me and said:
"You're gonna be 21 by this time tomorrow, that's amazing. You know, some people are married and having kids by now."
I knew it. I was tired but I knew it. As much as I don't like to compare myself to others and how they were raised to be brought up a certain way and be ready for certain responsibilities and stages of life at certain ages, I felt a little urge of discomfort after hearing this remark. She quickly made a small joke to ease the tension but thoughts had already begun to resonate inside me.
Fine, marriage and kids are one thing, but at an age like 21, it's safe enough to say that this is the beginning of adulthoood. Responsibilities. Privileges. Capabilities. Sometimes I've thought to myself that time and time again, I've been unable to live up to the potential I'm truly capable of. Call it a lack of deisre, laziness, the feeling of comfort based on my surroundings, a lack of urgency or maybe just an unwilling mentality to conform to how everyone else presents themselves, simply for the sake of standing out. In the end, there are several things I can improve upon in my life with trying to become the best human being I can be.
But when I start feeling depressed about how much I could've been, I try to recall where I was not too long ago. I being to ask myself, "have I made progress since X date?" and most of the time, and on an overall level.... yes, I have grown since then. I can also take confort in the fact that thank G-d I 've been given all that I have today, and even more so, thank G-d I have a state of mind that relaizes that I can't be content with the status quo or with whatever level I may be holding at.
Sometimes life can seem like a reverse escalator (or one of those conveyor belts at the airport that you can use when walking through the bording area's long hallways - except backwards). No matter how hard you try to walk up those flight of stairs, the current's going in the opposite direction.
As happy and thankful as I am for reaching this milestone in my life, I need to also take into consideration where am I going and how am I getting there. Though its emphasized now, with G-d's help I can have this concept in my mind everyday or more often than not.
Thanks for all the warm wishes and may we all take the time to properly examine where we are in our lives and guide ourselves on the right path meant for us.
I declare this day a national holiday in Tevytown. Now lets party!