Happy birthday to me
Trip Start Jan 15, 2011
50Trip End Dec 24, 2011
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Anyway, today is my 9862nd day on planet Earth (trust me, I checked). What's so special about this particular day, I wonder? As far as I'm concerned, it feels a lot like my 9861st or my 9498th days of life, but no one seemed to remember to celebrate those two (actually, that last one might have been my 26th anniversary). If anything, reading either one of these numbers is equally hard: my nine thousandth eight hundredth sixtieth second day is every bit as difficult to pronounce as any day after my 30th. If we wish to celebrate a special day, why not do so on a nice round number, like my 9900th day of life (in about a month), or better yet, when I reach my ten thousandth day on February 26th 2014? I'll go ahead and start hoarding the necessary 10.000 candles and enough ingredients to bake a cake big enough to fit them all on. Once I have all of this, let the party begin! After all, it's not every day one reaches five digits in days of life. If I ever make it to six digits (sometime around the year 2260), the party will be a blast!
Jokes aside, what I like the most about my birthday is that this is one of the few dates in the whole year where I can look back and know more or less what I did in previous years (together with some other dates – New Years Eve not being included for obvious reasons). Maybe that's what calls for celebration, the passage of time and one more year of maturity (for some). As for myself, I can't complain about my birthdays: back home in Portugal the family would always get together for dinner, in what I consider to be the best about days like this (same goes for Christmas). I also recall other anniversaries I spent abroad, which seem to show how my life evolved throughout the years. Nowadays I live in Berlin with a stable job and an everyday life, whereas on October 12th 2011 I was somewhere in the middle of amazing New Zealand. I can't remember much from the years before that one, but I know that in 2007 I was in Vienna, living abroad for the first time. Birthdays are hence like milestones, they serve as a reference point in each passing year, and maybe that's why I am not such a big fan of them. It seems as though I was in Vienna just a few years back, but thanks to this special day I just realized it was actually six years ago. Six whole years! It's incredible how time flies when we're busy living. Looking back at the second last year is not so motivating either: I went from professional backpacker, with a daily routine of finding interesting things to do and looking for fun, to a life of looking at software code and finding computer bugs. But I guess that back then, when I looked at the year before that, it must have felt like an upgrade and must have helped to enjoy the day. It's the so called vicissitudes of fortune (I think, I just wanted to use a fancy word).
On the other hand, some people do have a valid reason to celebrate this day, like the Spanish or the Brazilians: the former because they love me, the later because they idolize me. OK, alright, I'll admit it: that's not the reason... On October 12th the Spanish celebrate the day that Columbus reached America (which made them love a lot of things, like gold and hunting Indians down, but not me), whereas the Brazilians remember the discovery of a small statue of the Virgin Mary in the nets of three faithful fishermen (to be fair, the mother of Jesus is worthier of idolizing than I am). Anyway, if even the native people of Latin America can find cause for celebration on the day the first conquistador arrived at their lands, why can't I?!
With or without reason, I will of course celebrate this wonderful day in the company of my friends, as tradition mandates. Unfortunately the family is far away, but I'll celebrate knowing that I was once close to them and will have many chances to celebrate many other days with them, anniversaries or otherwise. And in the end, who cares about the darn date? True, it's not everyday you turn 9862 days old, but it is indeed everyday you turn a day older than the day before.