11/10/2006

Turning Twenty-Two

Well, I have passed another milemarker on the road of life, with mild but melodious fanfare. Festivities included five of hearts waffles with rainbow sprinkles a la my cousin Keagan, several hours curled up on my couch reading, a walk through the park lit by the golden glow of a glorious sunset, my favorite CD (The Old Style by Blazin' Fiddles, which I picked up in a pub in Inverness, Scotland) blasting in my car, yellow curry, yellow birthday cake with homemade vanilla frosting and more rainbow sprinkles, quality time with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and a whole pile of brand new books! All interspersed with phone calls, e-mails, and facebook wall posts of merry birthday greetings from many of the friends and family members who light up my existence with their support and individual fabulousnesses. Aside from a good game of Apples to Apples, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

The interesting thing was that the age I was donning that day actually felt appropriate, something I could assert with confidence about myself. "How old are you?" "I'm twenty-two." This in stark contrast to the usual several-month process of acclimating to a new number, of faltering responses to the simple query into my age: "How old am I...? Uh, twenty. Twenty-one! No, twen... um, no, that's right, twenty-one. I'm twenty-one. I think. What year is it?" Which gets awkward when one is attempting to, say, purchase alcohol, not that I have actually done much of that during the past year in which it was my legal perogative, but I can imagine it would result in a slightly prolonged examination of whatever form of identification I produced to support my stumbling claims.

The point is, ever since I can remember I have spent some time on each birthday introspectively evaluating my instinctive sense of my own age, and marveling at the fact that the additional candle on my cake did not immediately instill in me an identification with the corresponding new and incrementally increased number. But this year was different--sometime on the day itself I slipped seamlessly into the mentality of myself as a twenty-two-year-old. And if you have ever attempted to answer, with regard to yourself or one of your acquaintances, the question "What age are you?" in the same sense as questions like "What animal are you?" or "What color are you?"--that is, not literally, in the which case the aforementioned questions would be increasingly silly, but rather metaphorically, with respect to one's inner self or soul or aura or whatever term you want to assign to the elusive uniqueness characteristic of a certain individual--then you will perhaps understand that this fact caused me to wonder whether I, in some fundamental sense, *am* twenty-two.

That is to say, whether the age "twenty-two" just happens to be the age that most suitably describes the person I more permanently am, internally, and whether that internal self has been waiting all these years for my physical self to catch up. And whether the internal self will ever grow older, thereby possibly allowing me another conjunctive moment of age-rightness at some point in the future, or whether it will remain twenty-two for the rest of my existence, and if so, what feelings it might experience as it watches the physical body eventually move on and gradually retreat into the ensuing decades. Only time will tell, I suppose... In recognition of the possibility that this year is my one opportunity to experience this conjunction between the inner and the outer, I suppose I will do my best to appreciate and enjoy it while it lasts.

Thoughts? Responses? Similar experiences in your own life? Always appreciated.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jason said...

EE, your biggest mistake was letting me know your webpage. Now Who's Watching Whom???

Also, enjoy your palindromic birthday. You should let me know where you are, these days.

6:00 PM  

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