23

In a couple of hours, I will be 23. No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that birthdays are no longer worth celebrating, there is no denying that we will acknowledge the day on which we were born. We can say that it’s just an arbitrary day to which we ascribe an arbitrary meaning, but isn’t it the case for just about everything else?

23 seemed a much more onerous number than 22. It’s on the fringe of having a consistent adult life. Questions about the meaning of things seem frivolous. Responsibilities weigh in on decisions. It wouldn’t be a forgiving decade. Chance has it that I have so many unanswered questions. While conviction grows ever stronger, so does doubt.

The fork ahead never seemed so apparent. I thought I have chosen, but choosing is a never-ending chore. And there are no wrong paths. I could have mistaken this fact; it might just be a belief that I wouldn’t deny myself.

I’m turning 23, and all that is palpable is my hollow hope, my blind courage, and my insecurity. So much for this conviction – I can hardly speak my mind.

"But I am young no longer now; for sixty years my heart's 
been gone. 
To play its dreadful music there, beyond the valley of the
sun.
I watch with envious eyes and mind, the single-souled,
who dare not feel.
The wind that blows beyond the moon, who do not hear 
the Fairy Reel.
If you don't hear the Fairy Reel, they will not pause to steal
your breath.
When I was young I was a fool. So wrap me up in dreams
and death."
The Fairy Reel, Neil Gaiman

I’d wished myself a fool anyhow. A 1000 times over.

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