Despite the chatter of nihilistic cynics on Twitter, the New Year isn’t just another day. A birthday isn’t just another day. I mean, sure. It is another day. But the universe is laid out cyclically. If you reject the chance to reset and see life as a neverending string of boxes laid out side by side like existential dominos leading to a perpetual tomorrow, feel free. There’s no honor in doing so though. The Earth resets and the stars reset and it’s not as if you did anything great with your life on day 365. Make day 1 matter for something.
Because existence can reset. Human beings discovered days. Days made up a year. 25 years led me to where I am this morning, watching USA Hockey, listening to the Rolling Stones’ 10 studio album, Let It Bleed. It’s my birthday.
And I’m a writer. It’s not like I need the extra incentive to take chances to think about things. I’m thinking about things as if thinking about things is a worthy way of spending an afternoon.
Whatever a Millennial is, I’m its quintessential member. Beyond the incessant number of Buzzfeed quizzes or listicles explaining what kind of 90s character you are, there’s a ethos to the era I speak with total domination.
It’s an ethos where the process is the purpose. The process of finding yourself in a perpetual loop of self-discovery. Do what you love. Find your passion. Where the roots of your life go as deep as the concrete outside of the Chinatown bus because what you’d want might just be a Chinatown bus ride away, not the office job that sucks your soul with every auto-recovered document
But that’s not enough. When you honor your talent, you have to dig in. When you honor your intellect, you have to dig in. If life can be something greater than the allure of never knowing or committing to what it can be. At some point you have to dig in.
If 24 was the year I decided to verbalize that there was a life I needed want, 25 is the year the life I wanted has to be something I make, not one I stumble upon.
It’s depressing. Wanting things is depressing. Wanting things is so fucking annoying. It’s waking up discovering there’s a life you didn’t stumble upon. And then hating yourself for not putting yourself in the position to be able to.
But I’ve wallowed in a consciousness that celebrates not knowing. I’ll miss that. But if I had turned 25, two years ago. I’d have jumped on the chance to leave that consciousness behind. Sure, I didn’t need an age to do the dirty work for me. But if they’ll do, I’ll take it.
I have to believe its worth it. You can’t always get what you want But if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.