It is always not an easy thing to have to get through the birthday every year.
Because it is a reminder, very tangibly visible, of how much time has passed.
I suppose, by this point, the realisation jars pretty poignantly that regardless of how much older one gets, there is no getting over the profound sense of vacancy that accompanies the passing of each year that we remain alive and living.
This twenty-third year is going to be disparately different from the past twenty-something years, because it is not going to be just another year of going through school and soaking up more of that formal education.
It is going to be a year of terrifying possibilities and terrifying changes.
Once, we were the little young beings whose biggest troubles included fretting over which secondary school to submit ourselves to, wondering whether or not to scamper into that submissive JC or dive in for the adventure of poly, and questioning what on earth should you spend four years in large sophisticated concrete structures learning about. Now, we are moving into slightly larger older beings whose biggest worries are beginning to include the fact that we might not actually have the capacity to contain all the worries that the younger versions of ourselves had the youthful privilege of being blind to.
When you are about to take huge steps and venture forth (or be shoved) further into deeper depths of uncertainty, that is precisely when it becomes exceptionally important to make sure you know where you are coming from.
Remember yourself and remember the kind people who have given you all the kind support that you have received from them all these years, because these are the two groups of individuals without whom you will not be here. Remember to thank them and let them know that you feel grateful to have had shared moments of life with them.
It feels as if the imminent graduation from the last stage of tertiary education marks the end of the first volume in the book series of my life, the volume with a title in the likes of My Growing Years in School.
From then on, you will be forced to ditch the label of being a kid for real.
All the past years of kidding around are seriously going down into being history.
Obviously it is nuts to think that such mortifying and horrifying changes can materialise in your busy, busy psyche overnight. It is just not possible to sleep the night before, being the dopey naive kid, and wake up the next day, morphed into this mature version of your better self.
It is going to take some time for introspection before going forward.
Figure out some of the piles of mess that litter your past. Put some in the trash for good, sort out the salvageable ones and use whatever leftover youthful energy you still have left, and try to outrun the expiration of those perishables. Gather up those fine memories of yesteryears and the spirited moments of the youthful days past into stacks of cherished reminders for yourself in the future, when you will most likely become dreadfully susceptible to deteriorating powers of recall.
Go forward with less of the debilitating debris that has accumulated over the years and with more of the affecting remembrance of the things, people and moments that have crossed your paths in passing or since time immemorial.
The past is choked with greatness and fear.
Take only what you need from it.