Every year brings new challenges to experience and overcome. When we become teenagers just having pimples on our face can be a major obstacle to enjoying life and feeling comfortable with our peers, let alone lack of control over our body’s sudden changes or betrayal of our feelings.
Looking back on past birthdays, none of them stands out from the rest (except maybe my nineteenth when I was living in London and drank a huge amount of gin while feeling homesick and then felt a million times worse). Each year brought new experiences, new friends or lack of them, and at the end of each one I was the same person, yet changed by the inexorable infiltration of life. All experiences, good or bad, added to my life and coloured my views of people, places and the general meaning of life.
It is not so much birthdays that become big, but the looking back on the ever- expanding time one spends on this beautiful planet. The number of people that we meet who influence our thinking or become indispensable friends, the animals we have as pets, our children or lack of them all become part of a rich tapestry of life along with all our families, workmates and those we meet fleetingly, sometimes on travels overseas or even on a long train journey.
In the end I have come to the conclusion, it is not the birthday which assumes such importance, but life itself with all its positive and negative connotations.
I am thankful to have had another birthday and to have reached the 21st Century. There are many things about this world which are unfair and terrible, but there is also so much beauty. We will all experience love and loss in life, but that is part of what makes us who we are and a life without any feeling would be a life I would not like to live.