Hey would you look at that it’s my birthday. Through my combined wit, and fortitude I have successfully survived for 21 whole years. Well 21 tropical years, at the time of writing I’m still 20 in sidereal years but who’s counting? In any event turning 21 is a big one so I guess I should write about it.
Really the whole deal is the ability to buy alcohol in the US. Aside from that I’ve already gone through the whole “I’m in my 20’s now” thing, and even then stuff isn’t that much different. If I’m being totally honest it all seems a bit arbitrary. I’m not significantly more mature today than I was yesterday, and yet today I can buy Alcohol and yesterday I couldn’t. My brain isn’t significantly more developed. I’m not substantially smarter or more responsible. But I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere. I guess that’s just the nature of the law. Everything is on a spectrum and eventually you just have to have a cutoff. And it could probably be argued that by the age of 21 the average human is sufficiently suited to handle the effects of alcohol. But that would also presuppose all laws were based on hard evidence, which- well I’m just going to stop there.
I guess if we’re going down this road you could argue that the entire idea of the birthday is arbitrary. It just so happens that we use the orbit of the earth as out ultimate time keeping device. And on the time scale of a year it’s a pretty good one. But we could have just as easily used the cycles of the moon by which I am 260 today, or used days (7670), or we could just make up a unit of time, call it oobelbleks and say I’m 43 oobelbleks old. The unit doesn’t really matter, and it’s interesting to think about because then you can say, well if the unit of time doesn’t matter, what does matter? What’s the point of having a birthday?
Sorry if this is boring here’s a picture of what appears to be a woman sniffing testicles that I found on Reddit.
So why do we have birthdays? What are we really celebrating? I wasn’t there when some dude came up with the idea, his name was probably Clarence or something dumb like that, so I don’t really know what the purpose was, but I have some ideas. For me, and I assume for most people, Birthdays are just an excuse to get together with your friends, and get some of those sweet sweet presents. And there’s a strong case to be made there, but I feel like there’s more to it.
On a deeper level I suppose it’s about coming of age. The transition from boy to man (or girl to woman if you have those parts) is incredibly important to most cultures, and I guess the way we celebrate it is eating cake and inflating rubber bladders (balloons, if you didn’t catch my drift). It would also explain why we seem to care less about birthdays as we get older. We’ve already come of age, so there isn’t as much to celebrate. But then we have to ask the question, well why do we care about coming of age?
Wow, I am getting way out of my depth on this one. I’m an aerospace engineer not a sociologist. This was supposed to be a nice light post about how I’m turning 21 and it’s going to be awesome and I’m thankful for all the people in my life. Instead we’ve wandered down this rabbit hole. What is the importance of coming of age? I don’t know…boobs.
Ok let’s change gears. Hey it’s my birthday! Hey I’m 21! Hey I can legally purchase alcohol! Isn’t that exciting! Yeah…I mean I guess so. Ok, it doesn’t need to get anymore complicated than that. Sometimes the best question to ask is whether the questions your asking are worth asking in the first place or if you asking questions simply for the sake of having a question to ask.
In conclusion, I am excited to be 21. I’m happy to be fully an adult in every sense (although I still can’t rent a car). And I’m looking forward to spending some time with my friends. For those of you who managed to make it through to the end, I’d like to thank you for making it here, it was hard I know. And to all those who sent me well wishes, I sincerely thank you, the ego boost is very satisfying. I will see you all on the flippity flip.