Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Existential Crisis Day

Birthdays are an interesting time for me. Some people hate the fact that they are getting older and thus they hate their birthdays. I wonder if that's a shallow understanding of what is truly happening, however.

I don't really mind getting older. In fact, I tend to enjoy my age. I like the idea of having been around, learning, and maturing, yet I still tend to hate my birthday. It's not that I'm a year older, it's that it provides a mini existential crisis. It's the day to celebrate me and the majority of the planet couldn't care less. And why should they? Who am I to the cosmos?

If there's one thing people like, it's having purpose and meaning in their life. Of course, this only comes from within themselves, but they often seek it without. A birthday is a great day to realize how meaningless you are if everyone around you isn't clamoring to shower you with praise and gifts.

My own birthday is filled with maybe 20 Facebook posts and 3 text messages. The culmination of my existence, the total mass of my worth condensed to a single day weighs less than a feather. The celebration of me is naught. I am nothing. And this is why I do not like birthdays. I do not like realizing that I have very little worth in the eyes of others.

Of course, this is a rather foolish way to measure one's worth. It's not particularly wise to measure worth based upon Facebook and text messages. I could have great value to people who would never even meet me, and I may mean a great deal to many people, but that does not mean anyone is going to do anything special on this one particular day. Still, there is always some strange expectation that maybe they should. For those who have such friends and family as would shower a person in celebration, I presume birthdays are less dreadful, but for those who don't, it really should not be seen as a decree of worthlessness. Like most things, that is far easier said than done. I may very well never enjoy birthdays even despite recognizing my value outside of them.