In a few minutes, I’ll be turning thirty-three years old.
I like birthdays but not for the obvious reasons. While I enjoy the dinner with my family that I have every birthday, I’m not one to celebrate or think it’s something special for anyone else but me. Birthdays are a bit of a loner holiday for me because I like to ponder what my life has been and is and also, what I want it to be.
To me, birthdays represent the number of years I’ve had the opportunity to live.
And I feel damn lucky that so far, I’ve been given thirty-three of them.
And yes, I’ve had bad times and have suffered but those things aren’t what I focus on. They’re the price I have to pay to experience another day of living. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen on television, SIX FEET UNDER, managed to capture this spirit so eloquently in a scene between the character of David and his dead father, whom he still talks to in his mind and dreams, that I have to include it here to fully describe this: (context: David has recently experienced a very traumatic and horrific occurrence…)
DAVID: [It was] the worst fucking experience of my life.
FATHER: You hang on to your pain, like it means something, like it’s worth something. Well, let me tell you. It’s not worth shit. Let it go. (to the air) Infinite possibilities and all they can do is whine.
DAVID: Well, what am I supposed to do?
FATHER: What do you think? You can do anything, you lucky bastard, you’re alive. What’s a little pain compared to that?
DAVID: It can’t be that simple.
FATHER: What if it is?
And so, in celebrations of birthdays everywhere, I thought I’d write a blog of thirty-three things that I’ve experienced that have made life cool and special and amazing (in no particular order;) things that make me get up in the morning and think to myself, “Thank you, I’ve been given another day.” Perhaps you may want to try it on your birthday…
2. My family
3. Music (in particular The Beatles, The Clientele, LCD Soundsystem and Kings Of Convenience)
4. the sound of the Pacific Ocean
5. my mother’s cooking
6. my films and writings
7. FILMS (in particular You Can Count On Me, Mother, Home for the Holidays, Godfather I & II, Goodfellas and When Harry Met Sally)
9. fiction (in particular the writing of Jonathan Franzen, David Sedaris, JD Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, Franz Kafka and Fyodor Dostoevsky)
11. HBO television (in particular The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Extras, Tell Me You Love Me and Sex In the City)
12. friends, especially those who accept me for who I am and love me for it
13. My Sicilian heritage on both my mother and father’s side
14. my nephew’s smile
16. the ability to learn something new
17. sparkling water with lemon
18. America and its founding principles
19. my two closest friends Jamie and Nicole, two girls who have known me before I even really knew myself and have dealt with me and my worst and yet, still showed me love even though I didn’t deserve it.
20. the feel of a Bic pen in my hand when I just got an idea of something I want to write about
23. Beautiful perfume by Estee Lauder
24. having known what a great boyfriend is (my college boyfriend) even though he wasn’t the one I was meant to be with
25. philosophy (in particular Ayn Rand, Aristotle, Camus, Nietzsche, Thomas Paine & Voltaire)
27. jeans and flip-flops
28. my fourteen year-old plant
29. my parents, who are not only my best friends but two people I can trust and believe in.
30. ice cubes
31. driving with the music on loud and the windows opened half way, with no traffic on an open LA freeway
32. people watching
33. having another day, or at the very least, this moment…
Happy Birthday to everyone!