Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why I Don't Like My Birthday

"I have no fear of drowning. It's the breathing that's taking all this work." -Jars of Clay, Work

I am almost done with high school and that thought really hasn't sunk in yet. When I started my senior year, I didn't feel old enough or tall enough. (For some odd reason, whenever I pictured myself as a senior I pictured myself being 5'7" or something less pathetic that my 5'4". Also, when you are young and you look at anyone older than you, they seem so much older than you. And as you get older, they don't seem like they were as old as you remember. Hence, I thought that I would be older. Which is weird, because I am far more mature than other 17-year-olds. Can't you tell by the way I actually used the word "hence"?) Anyway, looking at the date on the calendar (which I can't really do in my room, because I have yet to change my calendar from April to May) I realize that the date is getting closer. I thought I would have saved the world by the time I graduated from high school. (When it says "saved the world" read: "do something that mattered." By something, I mean anything.) I didn't totally take the world by storm. I didn't make a mark on the world by the time I was 18. I didn't even make a tiny mark.

I found out that this is why I don't like my birthday. I used to love my birthday and I constantly encourage other people to love their birthdays. However, for the last two birthdays that I have had, I really didn't want to do anything. I didn't even really want to acknowledge that it was my birthday. I wanted to hide, basically, and do nothing special. Now isn't that a horrible way to spend your 16th and 17th birthday? I did do something, I want to a lame kid's movie one year (even though I do love penguins) and went out to dinner for another. But I didn't do anything special, because I wasn't excited about my birthday. I finally realized why. Because I saw every birthday not as a victory that I survived another year, but as a failure that I didn't accomplish more. A failure because I didn't change the world yet. A failure because I didn't think I grew that much, I didn't think I changed that much. I mean I have been the same height since August 2005, so it was a failure because I didn't get any taller. A failure because I didn't do anything spectular. There are teenagers that are loosening chains and here I have been sitting around, not doing much of anything. Except failure.

I realize that I should change my thinking. I realize that I should see my birthday as a celebration. I should see my birthday as a day to praise God because I am still here. Just my still being here means that God still has a purpose for my life. Just me still breathing every minute means that God cares enough to give me breath and means that He wants me. He want me to be alive. He wants me to be here. He still has a purpose for me to fulfill. Now my birthday isn't for another month (and eleven days), but when it comes and I am sad (like I know I will be) remind me that each birthday is not a failure and that I should see it for what it really is, a victory.

No comments: