A number of my friends have their birthdays clustered at the beginning of February, and when the first birthday hit I fired off a quick message. However, my friend never responded, and as I pondered his silence it suddenly occurred to me: how old am I? I honestly couldn't remember.
From September on my life has been a blur of work. I enjoy my job, but it has demanded all of my time and energy. Coupled with a decreasing social circle I've had absolutely nothing to punctuate my existence. I don't remember the last time I successfully threw a party, though I remember attempting to many months back: I sent about 20 invitations two weeks out, and sent reminders several days beforehand. I got three responses back -- all 'no' -- and everybody else just refused to respond. When I emailed people to say I was officially canceling I got another three responses -- two more 'no', and one 'Aw, I was planning on coming!'. Hell, before that I had to throw two apartment warming parties because nobody came to the first one!
Reaching further back into memory, I haven't had a true birthday party since 2008. We flew kites at the beach, played volleyball and frisbee, played on a big sand dune, got stuck in an elevator between floors, and had to be rescued by the fire department. Later, pizza! I can remember so much from that day, but I can't remember anything I did in the past six months, and a few days ago I couldn't remember how old I was.
I find myself increasingly feeling socially malnourished and detached. Further, I feel that my work schedule (often 12 hour days and on weekends, sometimes without advance notice) has not only forced me into this situation, but through its weekend uncertainty is blocking the few opportunities I have to pull myself up and out of this circumstance. In the past month, through an ongoing email conversation, I'd begun to internally articulate how I've been feeling, but having to break out a calculator to figure out my age has convinced me that I have to make a change.