The River of TimeIf you're anything like me, you have some weird ideas about time and people and life in general. On this day, my fourteenth birthday, I am thinking about time.
I don't know how most people imagine time. Maybe a golden timeline against a black background? That's how it usually is with me. Today, however, I had more of a mission in mind. I wanted to find out how best to illustrate my position on ages and passing years.
See, I've never really thought of age as something that defined me. For me, it always seemed more like a meaningless label, just a number that would soon pass and be replaced. More like a marker, not an area of life. So how to illustrate it? As I paced in the kitchen, holding imaginary conversations with my librarian, the idea came to me.
It's like a river. A river with mile markers on the sides. However, the mistake you could make is assuming that the river is age. Ever flowing, pretty much unstoppable if no humans interfere. It's rather a natural assumption. But the river is time, which is also a natural assumption and probably one you thought of before I ever brought up age. The mile markers are age. They don't change anything, don't determine the course of the river, they simply show the change. They put it into numbers to be easier to understand.
Those numbers have never really effected me. I've had people tell me I seemed older than my age, and it never came as a surprise. But neither did I expect it. It simply was, and I think deep down I wondered how any age was different than another. I was slightly flattered, yes, but I was unsure of why. And it still is slightly mysterious to me. I think part of the reason for this is that my mind is more creative than logical. I've never liked numbers. I've never understood why they were so important. I've always felt like the same person, so I guess I never let my age define me. It never seemed to matter, because I've always been more focused on what I knew and how I was dealing with life.
So I'm at the fourteen-mile marker. And I'm not super excited about this year. It's just another year. True, there will be presents, and people congratulating me, and no school for the day, but aside from that, what is a birthday? To me, it's more like a memory, reminding me that this is the day I was born. It, for me, serves to show me how far I've come emotionally. But all the other years, all the other birthdays? They numbers are all gone, and I see the past in one whole section. I also have a really bad memory, so that might have something to do with it, but humor me, please.
Time's MarkersI share a birthday with Angelina Jolie. I've never actually cared about AJ or what she did, but she's the only person whose name I recognized on the list of famous people who have June 4th birthdays. However, shame on Wikipedia, I was not on the list. Now, though, I have a goal. To get on that list. I will know I'm famous when my birthday is on Wikipedia. (Does anyone else pronounce this "Wi-ki-pe-di-a?")
That is a sort of time marker. The way people's ages really sink in, though, is Christmases, for me. I was shocked when I realized my grandmother had celebrated eighty Christmases. Her age suddenly became real for me. Just like understanding I've been through fourteen Christmases.
I have a friend who uses cars to judge time. It really sinks in for him when he realizes what kind of car a person was driving/around when he was his age.
It amuses me, the different ways in which we mark time. In a way, I suppose it's not the past we're marking, it's the present. Looking at the sum of everything that's happened in our lives and asking, "So where am I now?" Sometimes, we really need the importance of the passage of time impressed upon us. At least I do. Sometimes I need to be reminded of all the change that happens.
But then again, I feel the change. I think carefully about the change. I guess it really is the past that I need to remember.
All About MeI'M A GROWED DOLT NOW! I'M SAILING DOWN THE RIVER OF TIME, WITH THE TOP BUCKLE ON MY LIFE JACKET UNDONE! Dramatic? Most certainly. But once I start the metaphors, it's hard to stop.
|Three years ago, being self-conscious about my teeth and sporting my new fancy-schmancy eye-wear|
|Two years ago, holding Chuck the tree snake|
|A year ago I changed my fashion choices and began dressing like a business man. Just kidding! This was for a friend's Clue-themed birthday party. I was Mr. Green.|
|A couple months ago, with my hair beautifully curled by a friend. Note the braces and the lack of glasses. I've upgraded to contacts!|
|Just a few minutes ago. And yes, that is the best smile I could come up with. I'm sorry, I'm just not a big smiler. THIS IS THE SECOND PICTURE OF FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD ME EVER TAKEN! I didn't like the first so much.|
One more thing I forgot to mention--just about a week ago I found out that my birthday is in Spring. All these years, I thought I had a summer birthday. How in the world could I have been so uninformed?! All these years, I've thought about which season is my favorite. Spring or Summer? "I like Spring because it has my favorite kind of weather--dark and rainy and warm. But Summer has my birthday, so I really like it! How can I decide between my favorite weather and a holiday that's all about me?" Y'all, the choice is now clear, and that makes me so happy.