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Scene: Birthday, Take: 34

I am turning another year older.

Whether this involves turning another year wiser has yet to be determined.

Entering mid-thirtysomethingdom is a lot like arriving at a party wearing a T-shirt and jeans and stepping inside to see that everyone there is in business attire. As comfortable as it feels to think you're still "young," the truth is that you've become a full-fledged adult. You're not just "a big boy now"; you're a grown-ass man who has bills to pay, health insurance to grapple with, and a crapload of other responsibilities that would make your college-age self run and hide under a pile of ramen noodles.

I have arrived at the beginning of the end of that proverbial 18-34 category, the box you check off every time you fill out one of those forms that determines where you are in life, what group you're supposed to be lumped in with. I'm considered an elder of GenY but a baby in the eyes of GenX. I can remember life before the Internet and smartphones, but I have no clue what it was like to live in an era without cable TV.

If I were to see myself as another year wiser, it would be because, looking back, I have indeed accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the past 365 days...

1. I now know that settling a couple of student loans isn't what it's cracked up to be; the IRS currently has a chokehold on my finances. The reward for paying off a debt? Pay more. (Damn you, taxes!)

2. My life hasn't crumbled into oblivion without cable. Having gone this long (one year and two months) with my newfound streaming and downloading capabilities, I am confident that I will continue to survive. So what if I'm five episodes behind on The Walking Dead -- I can binge-watch like nobody's business.

3. Never settle for well vodka.

4. And in the words of one Miss Janet Jackson, love will never do without you -- all of the people who have passed through and come into my life thus far. Love is wonderful thing (yes, I also just quoted a Michael Bolton song).

Thank you, aging process, for strengthening my perspective on things, clarifying my priorities, and motivating me to do what I need to do.

Now let's have some cake.



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