It doesn’t feel like three years; I’ll say that outright. More and more, whenever I have a birthday, I feel I haven’t been a certain age for a long enough time. That’s no nostalgic woe, just an observation as life passes at an increasingly faster pace. This feeling’s much the same with the blog, since I can look at post after post and recognize my age’s influence on my writing. Eighteen’s a hell of a drug. It’s also one number among a million others, and despite the cultural insistence on its (and others’) significance, it only defines so much in the world.
When we celebrate anniversaries, we celebrate the numbers, to an extent. They’re the cutesy toppers we shove in the double-decker cake, and we’ll say, “oh, hey, love the plastic thingamajig–real lively” before reaching over them to take a paper plate off the stack. The cake, on the other hand, is a glorious invention we cannot stop admiring, mainly because we’re hungry, but also because we acknowledge its crucial presence. There is no anniversary without a cake, the crux of the entire celebration: everything revolves around its assumption of induced delight. Plates heave under its weight, and eyes crinkle at its sight, or rather the imagined sight. Everybody has preferences, but they all agree on what constitutes a proper cake, the ingredients involved, etc. The cake unites them in celebration of its existence.
Put in perspective, three years is a short amount of time, then you look closer and see how much can happen in a single year, and it’s a surprise, to say the least. A life can change in a day, so in comparison, a year’s got a bit more leg room.
People still don’t celebrate for their sake, mainly because toppers aren’t edible, but also because they’re not cake. If we did celebrate the numbers, we’d have specific holidays for them, and aside from May the Fourth, there’s not many to choose from. We celebrate the cake, a variable anybody determines. This memory or that, a shoe, or most importantly, an essence: how we feel about the cake.
I’m exuberant about the anniversary, think it’s fantastic. Therein lies my essence. Like any imagined concept, it varies from person to person. You might share my enthusiasm, and you might not. That is your cake, and depending on its kind, you may or may not be able to eat it.
Celebrations are never identical, either, so what else is there to say? are we supposed to bring out a bouncy house and jump ’till it deflates? pinatas, the way of the future? am I asking too many questions for my own good?
At the least, we should accept a transition from one moment to the next, and the continuance of its original incarnation. In that sense, the cake pales in comparison to longevity and its authenticity. We always count the years in hopes that there’ll be more to come.