It's nearing the 23rd anniversary of the day of my birth. Something to celebrate, for certain. Except, is it? If you know me, you should already know this, but I am not a big "It's my birthday!" person. And for good reason--many of them. Namely, those people are so fucking obnoxious.
"Hey, I'm always a douche bag when I'm drunk, but, goddammit, tonight I have an excuse and I'm gonna use it. Not only am I slated to be the world's biggest tool for 24 hours (usually it seeps long into the wee hours of the following morning as well), but I'm will surely be taking extra advantage to get everything I want, including all of the attention available. Because, normally, I am so pathetic that I can't win any on my own merit."
I am irked by said individuals.
However, there is another, perhaps less bitchy and more profound, reason for my lax attitude towards my own birthday. (I know what you're thinking. Oh great, here goes another one of Shannon's "I'm so obsessed with time passing" attention pleas. Well, you're wrong. Ha. I do have depth, and many dimensions. No one trick pony here.) I avoid the celebratory atmosphere surrounding the memorializing of someone's coming to be, because, well, I'm not so convinced it's anything that exceptional to begin with.
Ok, hear me out. Or, try, because, honestly, I am working this out as I go, myself. But, really now. Life is in no way proven to have meaning. People believe a lot of different things surrounding it, sure, but, for a being that seems to find so many reasons to disagree, we sure do all like the idea that life is good, or at least valuable, and is something to be celebrated.
Well, I'll go with you on that to a certain extent. Once people are alive they are valuable and what not. Because, let's face it, what we have is all that we have and if there is such a concept as value itself then existence, in some sense, must accomplish that. Follow? Eh, don't worry about it.
The point is, birthdays, to me, signify this unattended to detail that I haven't come to accept: the creation of life is something special, good, and "miraculous."
I stole the title of this post from that old sex ed video we were like all made victim to somewhere in our public schooling. The Miracle of Life. Good flick. Groundbreaking cinematography. Did the job. But that title, really?!
I think of that whole episode. Yes, you know of what I speak. Conception. Consider the circumstances surrounding the conception of a child. A couple trying for years to create their little miracle. A broken condom in the back of a pick-up. Costly in vitro fertilization. The pregnant "man". Are we going to label this with the term "miracle"?
I don't get it. Where did that cliche get its start? I'm blaming the Christians again. It just all seems to haphazard. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't; sometimes it's wanted; sometimes it's dreaded. I mean, come on. Everything reproduces.
Seriously, though. I think that what happens after conception is where a miracle can be found. My parents adopted me when I was three days old. All of a sudden, in that act I went from broken condom to miracle. What people do with the circumstances in which they're found (or created, let's be fair) is where all of those things--miracles, love, grace, faith--can really be found.
I'm tired of celebrating a whirlwind of mindless, unexplained cliches tied up in smoke and mirrors and tradition. Let's be responsible and discover that which is really miraculous and deserving of celebration in the thoughts and actions of people, not happenstance.