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I love birthdays.  Not in the sense of wanting to be treated as queen-for-a-day, but in the sense that I love the idea of celebrating the completion of another year.  I learned pretty early on that life is unpredictable and fragile, so I believe in birthdays.  They’re important.  Each year is an accomplishment.

Of course, the way I’ve experienced birthdays has changed as I’ve gotten older.  I remember getting out of bed on birthday mornings when I was in elementary school.  I’d stand in my pajamas, bare feet on the floor, and I’d literally feel taller.  Older and wiser, too, of course, but mostly I remember the feeling of gained height.

As a teenager I don’t remember that sensation of being taller, but I do remember a feeling of increasing maturity.  I wasn’t one of those kids who thought only of that “someday” in the future when I’d be a grownup.  Rather, I tried to enjoy each age as it came.  Birthdays were still exciting because they were another step.

These days, I still love birthdays.  I try to remember to acknowledge my friends’ birthdays (I admit, I rely on Facebook as a crutch for this, a fact which bugs me) and I look forward to my own.  Giving presents is as much fun as getting them, and I like the attention that birthdays naturally bring.

The last few years, my actual birthdays have been relatively quiet.  I go to class or I do some work.  For my 25th I went to the Vancouver Aquarium with some new friends from the grad program I’d just started.  It was fun, but not as much as I’d hoped – the group was of an unwieldy size for the venue, and by the end of the day I was actually relieved to go back to my single-occupant apartment and have scrambled eggs for dinner.

I didn’t feel taller when I woke up this morning, though I suppose at 27 I can’t expect to be growing vertically anymore. I didn’t feel older or wiser either.  Perhaps this is the next stage in birthdays.  I read somewhere that Socrates is supposed to have said something along the lines of “wisest is he who knows he does not know.”

So maybe not feeling wiser is a sign of maturity.  While you ponder that, I’m going to go over here and ponder what I’d like to get myself as a birthday present.

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