"It's that Time of Year Again"

By Sam Flynn on September 17, 2012

In a few weeks, on October 9th, I will be 20.

Being 20 at this point in my life, particularly at college, is about as good as being 5’4” instead of the necessary 5’5” to ride the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. You’re tall, but just not tall enough. I just want to say this actually happened to me last year when I was 18. Laugh if you want, but just remember my people are the ones who took the One Ring to Mordor and saved Middle-earth. Just putting that out there.

I tend not to make a big deal of birthdays, mostly out of the selfish desire to want OTHER people to make a big deal of my birthday. It’s an egotistical thing but not uncommon. I don’t feel shame out of that desire, and nor should anyone who has felt that way. Who hasn’t dreamed everybody appreciated them for their qualities and their flaws without judgment?

From flikr, by Will Clayton

Birthdays in this day in this day and age are passé. And I mean that with the most nostalgia I can muster as an anti-nostalgic person. I can understand the concept and why it holds significance: when living was actually a hardship and Tyrannosaurus Rexes were hunting us down and eating us (disclaimer: this writer knows we did not co-exist with dinosaurs. But I love the image), getting through another year was practically a miracle. You had to celebrate it because that Tyrannosaurus wouldn’t stop anytime soon. They would keep chasing you, giving one near-death experience after the next. And then it would be birthday time again.

Today, it’s an ego stroke and, as embarrassing as it is, I’m addicted to it. I suppose it’s appropriate that we hate most what we hate about ourselves, because people who make life all about them are the people that sicken me the most. Now, instead of T-Rexes chasing us we have student loans, jealous ex-girlfriends, and undercover cops making our lives hell. Now, instead of dying when we make a mistake, our lives instead simply become infinitely miserable until we are resorting to eating out of dumpsters. And at that point, things look like they might be starting to go downhill.

So what do birthdays mean nowadays? There is still the slight victory of not being a Darwin Award winner, but beyond that, it’s a signifier of another year lost to the drains of time. If this sounds overly depressing and hilariously ironic coming from somebody who started off their column with a declaration of reaching their twenties, then . . . I guess I’m just a depressingly ironic person.

I’m always interested on the effects of both reading and writing on a person. A good example: at the start of this column, I was in a bad mood. Now, I thank the stars I live in this time where I can indulge in my passion for writing without having to worry about the T-Rexes. And really, upon reaching 20, that’s the only present I need.

By Sam Flynn

Uloop Writer
It takes a real asshole to sum themselves up in a few words. So I will. I am a sophomore journalism student at Ohio University with a minor in creative writing. I am copy editor at the InterActivist magazine, secretary for Theta Chi fraternity, and columnist for Rascal magazine. I love books, film, tattoos, MMA, motorcycles, rapping, and blazers. My idols are George Carlin, Kevin Smith, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, and Hunter S. Thompson. I am also now officially an asshole. Cheers!

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