After a turbulent and bumpy jeep ride from Songkla to a small French hospital in the outskirts of Bangkok, I was born 37 years ago. Yes, today is my birthday. No… please, hold your applause. Seriously guys, you are too kind.
As one gets older up into middle age, you can’t help but reflect a little bit from your new vantage point. It’s always easier to look back, because, well you’ve already been there. So my beginning starts from the opening paragraph. After that we moved every 2 years to a new country due to my parent’s (ahem) clandestine occupation. Life was filled with travels to Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, The Phillipines – a crisscrossing of exotic locations on the map.
My recent years have been fulfilling in different ways, but definitely not as worldly. Which begs the question – did I peak too soon? Of course not, my life can be as adventurous as I make it, but the stakes have shifted. I can’t go on a wanderlust across Patagonia for a month, because my family would wonder “where did that man who washes dishes and gives us hugs go?”
There are things I can do, however, to ensure that my life is the most I can make of it. And since we all make up our own levels of importance and mysticism around dates and numbers, I’m creating my own purpose driven ideaology.
What’s the purpose? To actively make it a point to do more extraordinary things; things so memorable that years from now I can fondly think, “Oh, that’s the year I did (FILL IN BLANK)!” And since extraordinary things usually cost a lot of money, I’m going to space them out a bit. All of this led me to the idea – The Primes of My Life.
On prime number years of my life I will do something extraordinary. This will give me time to prepare and anticipate whatever the next event/place/thing will be. Btw – prime numbers are numbers that can only be divided by “1” and the number itself. And lookie-there, 37 is a prime number!
Some of you are rolling your eyes, some are thinking “nerd alert”, but like I said we all heap irrational importance to numbers for no apparent reason – I am frankly excited about this challenge and opportunity.
To solidify the Primes of My Life idea, I started backtracking earlier primes and associating pivotal moments that happened in life to those years. For example:
Year 2 – I learned to walk (major step in life)
Year 3 – I learned how to go potty (I literally use this skill every day)
Year 5 – I won a creative writing contest (Learning that I could turn my weird thoughts into a story that people liked was deceptively huge looking back)
Year 7 – I saw Star Wars. (It was like I had taken my first breath of oxygen)
Year 11 – I moved to the United States, Texas (I still refuse to say “Y’all”)
Year 13 – I became a child of divorce (Not a “prime”, but pivotal)
Year 17 – I started at Texas A&M (Deluge of stimuli and life lessons)
Year 19 – I joined improv group Freudian Slip (Wow, what a year. Met my lifelong friends, my future wife, and started a life of performing comedy)
Year 23 – I started my career as a creative (2 people gave a guy with zero experience a shot, which has allowed me to be part of some really cool things)
Year 29 – *I literally can’t remember one thing from this year. Whoops.
It is easy to forget how amazing life is, just life in general. And no one truly knows where we came from or where we go when our time is up. I take comfort in my faith and belief on where I’ll end up, but until then I want to run the best race I can. And notch a few more extraordinary things in the mean time.
I haven’t decided what I will do this year to mark Year 37. I have a couple thoughts kicking around in the back of my head, but I would love to hear your suggestions. My birthday wish is actually for you to do more things in your life that you can look back from your futuristic hyberbaric when you are 113 years old and say, “hey, I did that!”
(Blows out birthday candles)