What A Birthday Really Means

What A Birthday Really Means

Looking after my birthday, how will it be recognized then?

Just recently, I turned twenty.

When I was in high school, I had a math teacher who commented that life was split into twenty-year segments: at this point, I’m ending the first aspect of my life. I then have another twenty years, in which I would graduate from college, find a job, and live out my life. After I turn forty, I would have another twenty year cycle from that.

That aside, I think about what it means to turn a certain age every year.

With some exceptions, birthdays are a guaranteed day in which you could indulge yourself in what ever you desire. People lavish attention on you: they call you, post Facebook statuses celebrating your date of birth, you could even have a surprise party! Personally, I had friends invite me over to a nice restaurant on campus and we had a good time.

But especially when we are getting older, when birthdays have become more irrelevant because all the major milestones are hit, and there are less people recognizing your existence, and it seems like we’ve been to every special place in the world—and sometimes for times other than other people’s birthdays. So, what’s the point.

Other than New Year’s Day, birthdays are a time of reflection—being on this planet for several years as of this time, what have we done?

Of course, for the first twenty or so years, aside from geniuses and Olympic athletes and musicians, it seems like we haven’t achieved much. I personally could’ve had a novel out by age fifteen; but I didn’t make time to edit or to just live out life to get experiences needed to publish a good book. In hindsight, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; but for other works I’ve been doing, it made it impossible to revert back to. That is something I want to work on in the next twenty-year cycle: not only finishing school, but also finishing my goals and my dreams.

And yet, I’ve experienced a lot in the first twenty years: I’ve met a lot of people, listened to their stories, faced my own challenges, ate a bunch of nice things and not nice things, laughed and cried, and crafted who I would want to be in the future. Of course, this is not to say I’m perfect after twenty years; I find myself excessively falling into what’s easy rather than what’s right and beneficial for my future. I also want to run away from the complexities and dangers of this age, rather than confronting it.

But as I look into my future, as well as the political world I inhabit in, sometimes I wonder why I’m born into this age, rather than earlier or later? The question is what I should be doing so that my birthday will not only be recognized by more people, but also a day to be celebrated due to my contributions on this planet when I go forward. The fact I can exist and help them is better than anything that can be held in one’s hand.

Cover Image Credit: shironosov/iStock

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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