It's 9:22 P.M. as I start this blog off. In 2 and half hours, by I suppose astronomers' standards, I'll be turning 21 officially.

Another year passed and I don't really feel any different. But I think I figured out why that is.

Earlier Tyk said I should do a blog entry about my birthday. I was already entertaining the idea so I said, "Hey, why not?" But then I started really thinking about what I was going to type.

Whenever my birthday passes I never feel any different. It's not like when the clock strikes 12 I have some form of Saiyan to Super Saiyan transformation and I've got this huge boost of intellect or wisdom & understanding about the world that I didn't have before. In fact, the past couple of years when my birthday came it was just treated like any other day. Everyone around me was a little nicer. But even that was normal as everyone is always nicer to you on your birthday. It was expected. But I feel like I haven't aged at all. I still have the need to play video games and lol at really stupid and/or crude jokes. Sometimes I even feel younger now then I did a few years back. I feel a little freer.

Then I started thinking about it some more and it hit me. I've never really reflected on any of my birthdays.

Now, I'm not sure if this is true for anyone else, but what I've been taught about birthdays is this (moreso through action & repition then by explicit words): Birthdays are simply a time for people to gather and "celebrate" with cake and colourful dunce hats and balloons and beer and pancit (pronounced pahn-sit). And of course, I can't forget the presents. Back then maybe it was a new SNES game. Today it's green and made of paper.

Now, I'm not exactly disagreeing with that line of thought. A celebration is good. There's a lot of people who don't even make it to 21. But what's missing is reflection. I've never taken the time to just sit down on my birthday and look back and assess coming to that point. Or this point in this case.

I mean, shit, how do I feel about what I'm doing with this body? Why have I never asked that to myself? I'm 21 for fucks sake. That's a 1/4th of my life that I'm never getting back. So now all the times I sat and masturbated vigorously to the female anatomy doesn't seem like time well spent once I actually put it up to the light.

I have goals. Before I die I want to write at least one book. I don't even give a damn if it's published or not. I just want to say I finished it. I want to draw a piece that'll make Takamura weep. I want to cut my hair. I want to learn to play the bass. I want to visit Saturn's rings. I want to prove my hypothesis wrong and actually find one woman worth spending the rest of my life with. Even if I was right I just want to do things.

I think about it some more and I've found that I've actually changed quite a bit. Like my time here on NF for instance. TBH, my whole persona on the board has been somewhat of an experiment. I test out certain things with random people and see how they react and I carve out the identity that I want to be. Anyone that knew me before I joined the board and saw the way I am on here probably wouldn't recognize me. This wasn't a conscious thing from the start. It was something I noticed about the time that I got modded. But I ran with it and I've come to find that I like what I've become here and I see that that person is starting to leak out into interactions with people off the board whether new or old.

And that's just NF. I've been affected by a ton of other things. I've read and listened to more music in the past 2 years than I have in my entire life to which I've learned a shit ton from. I saw Rage Against The Machine in concert and almost fell during a moshpit to be trampled on. I thought I was going to lose my life or at least badly injured. Luckily someone caught me.

For some reason it's never clicked to me but it's clicking now. Change isn't some instantaneous thing. I won't just wake up one morning and I'll be 6 inches taller. Change is gradual. Flowers take time to bloom and caterpillars first go into their cocoons and then come out as butterflies and I get older in between birthdays. Not just on the 8th. I guess that's what they mean when they say to take the time to stop and smell the roses. We gotta stop and take the time because the change is so small that we'll miss it.

I think part of what makes me feel so young still is because I don't sit and look back all the time. That's old people shit. They're the ones who curse Hip Hop and how all that bass is gonna break their ears and our baggy jeans and whatever else they dislike 'cause it's not how it used to be. But life is passing me by and looking back to reassess every once in a while isn't a bad thing. Sometimes we need to re aim a little on our targets.

Looking back, I AM 21. I may still laugh at an immature joke every now and then but I'll also cry at something that I was once too manly to do for. My hair isn't yellow but I am understanding just a little bit more of the world around me.

It is a happy birthday.