It's my birthday. I just woke up to a 'it's your birthday.' I felt funny hearing it. I go to the living room, turn the TV on, pick the new episode of Mad Men I PVR-ed from the night before, and get my laptop out. I've not done a whole lot of writing recently due to my infatuation with the tablet I recently purchased.
Tablets are great for seeing things but not so great for contributing things. Last night I said I'd give it to someone. Someone who was always better as seeing than doing. I never was good at it. I was only good at doing. I got this truth about my nature early on in life. And I've owned it since. I was always good at detaching. My folks could never understand how I'd get so easily bored with things I always seemed to want so much. My answer was always the same. The reason was simply because I got to get them. I meant, I understood what their function was, made use of them, and then recycled them with the same ease one recycles bottles. This is why I always had a hard time relating to those who were into the collecting of things.
So, this morning, before I head to work I think I'll mail the tablet to someone who's a better fit to own it. So, on my birthday I'll give something of mine away. Feels about right. This is what I love about technology. It seems to have something for every personality type. But back to the topic sentence.
I usually am more aware of my day of birth because I get asked ad nauseam what I want for it. The same thing happened this year as it happens every year but, this time around, for some odd reason I paid no attention to the birthday-related chatter.
First, it was the 3-day visit from one of the most important people in my life. It was a good three days. We did things that made me remember what it is that I usually need to do and be in order to be content. It's rather amazing how easy it is to forget that which is fundamentally true about one's self. And then the visit was over and it was time to face the music of quotidianity, and I was fine with it. I was bought flowers which I promised I'd continue to water. But then my nature kicked in. I got distracted. I forgot to water them as I had promised and today I'll have to throw them out. But I'm ok with it. I am true to my nature. I took pleasure out of viewing them for a few days and now I can let them go.
Two times during the year I do one specific thing and it's the same every year. I take stock of life, usually while sipping some caramel macchiato, and then I always move on to something new, usually a new album I want to listen to. You see, what's great about a May birth is that there's always new music to check out. I take time to take stock of life twice a year. I do so on New Year's Eve and on May 28-th. I think of where the year has taken me, what decisions I have made that have led me to the results of the day, how things would be if I'd taken other routes, and more importantly, what routes I feel I should take the next year. And usually there is detachment. Not this time around, however. There is attachment this time around which is why I react to the day differently than in years past.
This year went by faster than I'm accustomed to. And I and it always go fast. This year, however, I learned things about myself I never learned before. I am a fan of cyclical learning. I am a fan of it because it cements fundamental truths about life and existence that we need in order to be fine. We cannot learn life lessons by only being exposed to them once. We need repetition. Because we are, at the core, nothing more than children. What's made this year unique in my own existence, however, is that I experienced things I have never experienced before. And, as much as I'm drawn to novelty, I've been missing that which, by nature, I'm inclined to: history.
So, how can one process experience if it happens outside of a cycle of regularity? One can only do so one way: one has to face it, really get to know it, and then decide if one wants to keep it in the bank of experience or withdraw it quickly and forget it the way you forget an insignificant purchase that puts an initial dent in your account but then for some reason becomes forgettable and you can give it away with ease. Like my tablet.
One of the leaders of the company I work for asked me why I specialized in what I did in academia. I said I was drawn to it and, as a result, I let myself be taken there. I said, "I'm into history. And it turned out I was good at writing about it. And talking about it. And then I became a doctor of said things." I was happy with the explanation. I felt it made more sense than reciting some multisyllabic words than really say little of consequence.