On Getting Older

I hate my birthday.

I’m not sure why, but sometime in my early teens, my childish excitement for leveling up in age turned into a somber remembrance for the years of life I’ve wasted. Maybe it’s depression; maybe it’s cynicism. Either way, it’s a stupid way to look at it.

You see, I have this need to constantly feel like I’m being productive. When another anniversary of my birth comes and goes, I look at the year before and try to see what I’ve created. When I look back and see one or two completed projects out of 365 days, I disappoint myself. It feels like I’m wasting my life.

The idea that I feel old enough to be wasting my life is ridiculous; I just turned 20, so I still have a long ways to go before time takes me. It’s not like I haven’t lived much in the 19 years before now; I’ve seen other countries, met amazing people, and been a part of some crazy shenanigans. But I still get hung up on the fact that I haven’t created as much as someone years older… even though I recognize that most art comes from life experience.

I suppose after hanging out with an older crowd for most of my life, I’ve gotten used to people thinking I’m a few years older than I actually am. Therefore, I feel as though what I create should reflect the age I seem. But I haven’t actually lived those extra 3-5 years; so my creativity constantly falls short of where I think it should be. Or maybe this is something every creative person faces and I’m just making excuses for myself.

Someday, I might solve this creative conundrum. But until then, I may as well start by breaking my habit of hating birthdays. I don’t have time to get down on myself for not doing enough in the past. I’ve got a future to live.

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