On My 27th Birthday, A Conversation with Myself

Self-discovery, I believe, is a lifelong and never-ending process.
Self-discovery, I believe, is a lifelong and never-ending process.

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay 

This year it’s being difficult to put 27 little candles on the cake, which of course reminds me of Bob Hope’s, “You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.” But well, a birthday is just another day where you go to work and people give you love – something which should happen, I believe, everyday in each other’s life; where love, compassion, kind words and care bring more value to life. If we know these elements make life taste better, then why do we wait for a special day to treat one more specially? Or, should we contemplate the fact that people around us become fake on this special day? I would better put aside this thought, and enjoy this special day by counting the blessings and be happy.

And then we have presents; the best part of the special day, I suppose. Presents don’t really mean much to me. I don’t want to sound mawkish, but it’s the realisation that I have many people in my life who really love me, and who I really love.

If I look back over the 27 years, my styles have changed – my clothes, my hair, my approach to songs, movies. The icing to the cake has changed flavours. But if I really look at the cake itself, it’s really the same.

With years I’ve developed a typical simple mind; my world organised with that genius for taxonomy that has minutely subcategorised everything from music to lovemaking. I am unorthodox to the extreme, and love to present myself as an enigma; for example, I claim to be an atheist, but put in daily requests to the Almighty, denying that this amounts to prayer. It’s not that I believe in Him, it’s just that my wishes always seem to be granted; that’s why He bestowed me with some good people around.

Going further into describing myself to someone, I find it quite difficult. When I first opened my eyes to this world, my parents endowed me with the legacy that they could give me; my name, my caste and my religion. This world gifted me with its inventions, discoveries and law. My country bestowed upon me residency and nationality. My teachers graced upon me the gift of academic education until I completed university. From my friends, I received memories to be cherished for a lifetime. From my enemies, I tolerated lessons that were accompanied by the only things that lessons are capable of bringing: learning and growth. But at the end of the day, all of these combined have allowed me to mould my identity.

I personally cannot describe myself to people with these tags and labels because I would be cheating them and implying that my identity is fixed and ascertained. Self-discovery, I believe, is a lifelong and never-ending process. I haven’t yet learnt all there is to know about myself in these 27 years; I am still on the path of learning who and what my own self is. The day someone claims to know himself completely, that person doesn’t need to live any longer; or at least there will be nothing left to be achieved any more in this life.

Every year on our birthday, we get a chance to start new. But for my birthday, this year I would like not to start new but continue my journey of self-discovery…

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