Another Year Wiser

By Jazmyn Matthews

When is the cut off age for when you’re supposed to stop enjoying birthdays?

Is it 30? 40? Even 50?

When do people actually stop enjoying the fact that they’re getting older?

I’ve been told that it’s 21 because that’s the last age that you have to look forward to. At this point in life you can already drink, you’re probably on your way out of college in about a year’s time and you’re one step closer to actually being an adult. Not a college-student adult, but a real one.

Well, I’m at that point. On April 9th, I turned 22 years old.

Other than the fact that I blasted Taylor Swift’s 22 the entire day, no matter how many people I’d annoy and no matter how much Swift annoys me, I expected the day to be just like any other.

If you know me, you know that I count down 60 days before every single birthday.

Seriously.

On February 9th, I began a countdown and go around making sure everyone within hearing distance knows what’s going down in exactly two months. It’s near impossible to not know when my birthday day is.

I say ‘my’ birthday, but I am a twin, so I guess it’s more appropriate to say ‘our’ birthday. Though technically, everyone in the world shares a birthday with someone else and I don’t see them going around and saying ‘our’.

But, back to the subject at hand.

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Every time someone says it’s someone else’s birthday, the saying is always thrown around “You’re another year wiser.”

Are you really? For one, unless time traveled immediately from April 9th, 2015 immediately to April 9th, 2016, I’m not an entire year wiser. I’m just a day wiser. I’m exactly 24 hours wiser than I was the day before.

The biggest accomplishment that I currently have is that I can say “I’m 22” when saying it yesterday would be a lie. But, how else am I different from yesterday?

I was still able to buy alcohol yesterday, I would still be tried as an adult if I committed a crime, and my mom will still call me her ‘baby’ (and I will never be allowed to jokingly call her by her first name).

We’re wiser on life experience it seems.

Last year, I didn’t know how to do my taxes. Last year, I didn’t realize how detrimental it is to find a job after graduation. Last year, I still had my grandmother.

A year of many of learning how to live with all of these skills, but at least these are useful ones. They’re all ones we all have to learn eventually whether we like it or not.

That seems like a better explanation of “another year wiser.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like I’m automatically 365 days smarter every time it’s my birthday. If that were the case, I’m certain more older people would be looking forward to that special day.

Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe your life experiences are different, and you feel that you still have no reason to look forward to your birthday.

Not everyone can be as excited as I am, I honestly annoy everyone around me with my enthusiasm, but I hope this will you make you more optimistic instead of throwing around the phrase “another year closer to death.”

You’re another year closer to success because soon you’ll have gone through all the life experiences that you can count.

Don’t believe me? Sleep on it.

When you wake up, you’ll be another day wiser.

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