Wednesday, October 31, 2007


(Warning: this is a vanity post)

Today is my birthday. Yes, I was born on Halloween. No, I do not do Halloweeny things. Halloween steals my thunder. Though it is an awesome, evil, carnivalesque pagan holiday, it means that I never get to celebrate my birthday on my birthday--my friends won't even celebrate it the Saturday before, because they always go to Halloween parties. So Halloween gets two bites at the apple, and steals twice my thunder. Last Friday I hosted a '90s themed pizza party set to '90s boy band music with Rice Krispy treats, blondies, and bowls of candy. It was very awesome, especially because I never had such a birthday party during the '90s. I never celebrated my birthday until I went to college. Asian families are not so big on birthdays, and mine was a poor, strict and Puritan, no-fun kind of Asian family. So now I celebrate birthdays unabashedly. It's nice, if age-affirming.

I don't know what is scarier: turning 27 years old, or you old fogey professor friends choking to death on your bagels upon learning that I am only turning 27 years old. Hey, I was alive (just barely) during Reagan's first inauguration. That's like the threshhold for Gen X, is it not?

I'm actually not quite so "young" anymore though--I used to be precociously young for everything--now I'm just at that right age, or even older than the average. It is all very strange to no longer be the outlier who didn't listen to that '80s band back in the '80s.

In many ways though, this is a different era for me: I'm entering my "late" twenties (the mid-20s are over, the early-20s are thankfully over). I'm entering that stage of life in which I should be pretty well on my way towards all the scary things that come with adulthood: a career, someplace to eventually settle down, someone to settle down with, a mortgage to pay, a household to build.

But thank goodness I'm only entering that stage. I'm not ready for it now. For now, I am happy to be a graduate student living in an awesome part of the country learning interesting things and new methodologies; just starting to write my own ideas and finding them surprisngly well-received; still having enough free time to pursue my hobbies; still just figuring things out, still having what kids these days call "fun."

It will end soon, I know that. Don't begrudge me for finding out later in life what most people have known all along: it's better to take things one day at a time. It's okay to enjoy the present interstitial state and not unduly worry that certain goals could/should have been accomplished by now. It's okay to not yet be completely an adult with the career, mortgage, and family. All in due time, and it will come soon enough, and perhaps sooner than I think or wish. It's okay to be here, for now. It's nice to celebrate your birthday and get presents. It is nice to have someone with whom to duck away from all the crowds and sugar-and-alchohol-buzzed madness, thumbing each other's noses at the thunder-stealing holiday.

But to ease you into the shock of my relative youth and naivete, I offer you a video from your generation.