Thursday, July 23, 2009

Birthday Thursday

Today, July 23, is my birthday. It happens to fall on a Thursday this year, which I find somehow fitting. Just one of those little thoughts that arrives in our brains from an unknown source: my birthday feels like a Thursday type of day.

I realize that my birthday is as likely to fall on a Thursday just as much as it is on a Friday or a Tuesday, but it always feels like a Thursday, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's connected to me thinking of Thursday as the "weekend" before Friday; a statement which makes perfect sense in my head, but I've just found sounds confused when put on the page.

I turned 31 today, which I hadn't actually thought about until I just typed it. Sounds like a big number! If I tried to pretend that ten years ago, this is where I expected I'd be, it would be a ridiculous lie. Ten years ago, I hadn't even finished my undergrad schooling, had never kissed a girl in anger, still lived in Chicago, and gave few thoughts as to where I'd be in the future.

Now it's the year 20-nine. Still no flying cars.

In the wake of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and the death of Walter Cronkite this week, I had thoughts about the perspective of time. It works out that man first landed on the moon nine years before I was born (born in '78, landed in '69). While I was growing up, I always felt like the moon landings had been a lifetime ago, sometime just after the Civil War. The past always felt really far away.

And yet, this coming September will be the eighth anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center, an event that feels much more immediate. I'm sure this has everything to do with me being completely aware of every year in the last eight, compared to not even having a grasp of world events until 1990. In that way, it's not so strange.

Still, it gives me a bit of pause to think that so little time had actually passed between man-on-moon and my birth. Turns out that it wasn't really near the Civil War at all!

I had a similar stark awareness of time when Michael Jackson died. It made me think about being very young indeed and dancing at a friend's house to Thriller over and over. Keep in mind that, being so young, this was in no way the "Thriller dance". It was simply ecstatic jumping and gyrating that six-year-olds did in 1984.

But all that is just rambling. The vaguely important point here is that I'm starting my thirty-second year.

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