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You say it’s your birthday…

Thirty-three years ago I was born to a seventeen-year-old mother and a twenty-eight-year-old father, in Fremont, California, into a world of hope and possibility. Today, thirty-three years later, some of that hope has been dash, but some has exceeded itself. Much of the possibility has been resolved into actuality, but much remains. I am a sum of my years on the planet, and today I celebrate another cycling of the planet, another passing of the seasons, another farsical reason for poetic contemplation.

First off, I would like to thank each and every one who commented on my blog entry from several days ago, both on my website (http://www.joshuaarcher.com/) and on the LiveJournal replication (http://www.livejournal.com/users/jarcher) — I will be writing you / contacting you about your offers and definitely taking you up on it.

Secondly, I’d like to take a moment just to complain a little bit about my parents, one of my favorite pass-times, and let’s face it, they’re to blame for today anyhow, so I might as well point out some of their lunacies. Today, up in Valley Springs (and as of yet, I’ve to locate the spring — it’s more aptly named ‘desert at the foothills’), my family has coordinated a family reunion for my mother’s side of the family, and while I know they were restricted the schedule of others for the gathering, and this weekend was the optimum weekend to hold the event, I’m left holding the emotional baggage of having my parents devalue my birthday by planning this event and expecting me to go. I told them months ago that I had plans on my actual birthday day, and I wouldn’t be able to go, but they’ve been insistent, and now my dad has sent me an email for one last round of guilt, using my grandfather’s appearance and getting him a chance to see his great-grandchildren as a last-ditch effort to get me to drive out to the middle of the freakin’ valley 4 hours away so that I can appease my mother’s sense of having ‘four generations’ at this reunion, which I personally hold little attachment to. I would love for my grandfather to see my kids. He lives in Las Vegas and doesn’t make it out this way very often, and it would be a good opportunity. However, I have already made plans long ago for tonight, and today I made plans for that I don’t want to break. I don’t want to drive an eight-hour round trip and try to make it back here by 8pm just to visit for a few hours. I don’t really know or care much about my second cousins twice removed, and part of me is bitter on several counts around the whole issue. For one, I feel like my parents don’t spend very much effort during the year to come visit their own grandkids or form a relationship with them, or even myself, but they have pushed so much time and energy in this reunion. It seems like misplaced priorities to me. Secondly, and this is sort of my own ‘get over it’ issue, but I am still bitter about how my parents took off on my 18th birthday to Washington state for another family reunion, and left me alone in the bay area to move myself into the freshman dorm at UC Berkeley, and how I spent my first day at school, on my birthday, all alone. That was eleven years ago, but it still bugs me a little bit, because it represents a lifetime of inattention and devaluation on their part. Anyhow, I’m not going. Instead I’m gonna spend the day and evening with friends, and I’ll just deal with the guilt and emotional fallout that will occur from me not playing along with this silly reunion.

Okay, on to happier things — tonight I’m heading out to SF and spending the evening with friends at an event tailored by my good friend Jason. He said he wanted to handle my birthday this year, and he’s gone to a lot of time and effort to arrange something. It’s totally awesome and I love him for it. I’m gonna have a great time, I know it.

Thirty-three years doesn’t seem that old to me, but my life has many accomplishments. I’m married for ten years this year, I have two children, I own my own home, have a stable job, interests that keep me engaged with life, and a bright future. In many ways, I feel like I’ve ‘come of age’ into adulthood. I’ve been sitting at the twilight of my youth for several years now, but I feel like I just saw that green flash as the sun dips below the horizon. At this point, it’s undeniable that I’m a ‘grown-up’ — adult, first-class. I am always going retain child-like qualities, I’m always going to play and have silly fantasies. But, I have taken on the mantle and responsibilities incumbent of my age and station. I’m a daddy, an adult, responsible for myself and others. I am certain I’ve got plenty to learn, and in the world of grown-ups, I’m still a youngin’, but I feel this year for the first time a definite passage of a rite, through a one-way gate. Perhaps Tolkien has something to do with it, perhaps it’s just my current musings. Maybe it’s just maturity that comes from years on the planet and circumstances lived through. But whatever it is, I have to state that I’m having a good time here on the planet, and I’m facing my prime with enthusiasm.

Thank you universe for putting me here, right now, and letting me view it all from this perspective. Happy birthday to me.

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