Random thoughts about a “Special Day”
Among the bundle of things I feel very reluctant to write about, one subject is myself. May be because of the honest thought that ‘who’s gonna care for it?’ It would be one boring, narcissistic piece. And, there’s one thing I am not every excited about in life: birthday. Obviously, I have tried here to briefly write on the boring subject in this not-so-exciting day. I can’t anymore say ‘late 20s’ when someone asks my age (can I say 1st anniversary of my 29th birthday?). It is said that Jesus Christ, at the age of thirty, publicly began to preach the gospel. Good for him. I have got myself to one part of Christ’s achievement; I mean reaching 30. Some expert numerologists’ say 30 is a very significant number in the history of human affairs. From economics, mathematics to physics and religion, the no. 30 is said to have brought some revolutionary understanding on the field (although some numerologists tend to recite long history behind whatever number we throw at them). Basically, 30 is the number of the circle or cycle. There are plenty of great things about the number 30, but then it’s just a number.
First of all there’s this simple question: why do birthdays don’t mean much when one grows older? For some, birthdays always mean a lot. At least for me, birthdays aren’t very important in the first place. Of course, I couldn’t have come to this conclusion right after celebrating the first birthday or the handful of ones after that. One of the exciting thing about celebrating birthdays as a kid is not the gifts or cakes; it’s the attention you get. As a shy kid who isn’t very attentive enough to sit in the first row of class or mischievous enough to huddle in the last row, I moved through the middle rows pretending to blend in with the class crowd. As a boy who was first identified by the dark skin tone and then by the thick spectacles, I think these early birthdays brought well-rounded, positive attention on me. Contrary to my introverted nature, I liked those things. What’s at the core of this attention-seeking? Lack of self-esteem. I must have thought the attention transcended my alleged feelings of inferiority. Gradually, the allure of birthdays vanished, thanks to ever-caring parents, pragmatic friends, and the world of literature & cinema. Now, birthdays just seem to be another day, except for the fact that it’s the only occasion my FB timeline seems a bit crowded.
All this may sound a bit downcast or a feigned effort to come off as ‘cool nihilist’. My point is there’s no need to be obsessed for what we call as ‘special days’. To tick-off the list of friends and relatives who wished you and didn’t. To expect the attention of a person (or persons) who ignores you all around the year. I am always okay and content. And, this realization doesn’t push me to get serious about the so-called ‘special days’ like birthdays. Now and then, I am inundated by feelings of emptiness, loneliness or existential worries. But those don’t have a huge, lasting impact on my ‘self’. Moreover, I am not going to wake up in a New Year or birthday and instantly turn into perfectly honest and happy person. So why pretend that the transition is gonna happen through the simulated memories gained on this ‘special day’. Or why be unbelievably grateful to our father and mother only in a day which is purely created for card-selling consumerism?
But isn’t it fun to celebrate things, even if you are always content, right? Yes. Nevertheless I hate how ‘fun’ is just defined by cake, parties, and gifts. Don’t worry I won’t advise at this point to make contributions to charities in order to feel different form of contentment. Furthermore, the ‘special days’ shouldn’t be the only point to remind us about our society’s dispossessed people. It’s better to raucously party than take ludicrous selfies and posts it in fb under the title ‘my birthday at the orphanage’.
Of course, what’s evident in this kind of attitude is an oxymoronic combination of high pride and humility. It’s a warped mind-set as some had commented. Since time immemorial, we have been fed lies how one’s life should be. Running after grades, jobs, marriage, and birthdays are part of that. I think it’s time we stop running after any thing. The passion we possess and the genuine people in our life will dictate the right steps we take forward in life. The other so-called ‘special’ things or days are just superficial ones; a bottomless void.