It’s been twenty years on Earth since I was born. About ten and a half on Mars and on Pluto it’s only been a few days. Time is weird like that.
A lot has happened since I was brought here. America has gone through four presidents, Britain four Prime Ministers, there’s been many wars- most of which were unjustified- and technology has advanced so fast that the site you use to stalk your ex-girlfriend is now being suspected of rigging elections. It’s fucking wild.
In the great state of Northern Ireland, a lot of shit has gone down as well. We signed a deal that meant we couldn’t kill each other anymore (wooh! Go peace!) but on the condition everyone who killed anyone could go relatively scot free and we had to do this whole power sharing government thing. Turns out when you try and force two people who used to kill each other to share things, things end up pretty damn broke.
We haven’t had a government in about two years. In a few months we won’t have the necessary legislation approved to keep the goddamn street lights on. Oh, and Brexit is a thing. Britain in an absolute manic state of midlife crisis decided to shoot its own dick off and ever since they’ve fallen further and further into senility. Their only rational thought now being; “…I would have liked to have died in the war.”
I don’t celebrate my birthday. Namely because there’s fuck all to celebrate. Outside of me, I guess. But I haven’t done anything worth celebrating. Outside of course being the one parasite out of trillions who could swim fast enough in the right direction so that I could achieve consciousness. That was pretty rad. But everyone does that.
Another reason why I don’t celebrate my birthday is because I don’t really have anyone to celebrate it with. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m not particularly good with people. I can be overtly vulgar and rude, so inconsiderate that it kinda pushes people away cause they’re like “oh…you’re just an asshole” other times I’m really goddamn quiet and stoic which kind of makes people think I’m a weirdo, because I am.
I haven’t had a birthday party since I was a kid. I remember this one time I had all my friends over and everything was going great. Then I went up to take a shit and when I came back down, they were all gone. For some reason their parents had decided to collect them all at the exact same time, coincidentally while I was in mid shit. I was devastated.
Now though? I find that story fucking hilarious.
I was kind of a whiny, spoiled brat so I wasn’t too popular and therefore didn’t have many friends. I was pretty annoying, and it was a common occurrence for people to tell me to fuck off. Those that did tolerate me were often pretty mean to me. They weren’t very good people and I was just in denial of who I really was. I wanted to be cool, but I was a nerd.
And that’s ok. I should have been around my own kind of people. Nerds, rejects, weirdos- that kind of thing. I mind back in school everyone used to refer to the group of specky nerds as “the cool gang” which is really clever and I’m honestly surprised they came up with that. All they ever had for me was that I was fat, ginger and kind of talked weird.
Latter of which is why I don’t talk much. I have a lot of issues that I’m dealing with. Isolation, Catholic upbringing, bullying from an older sister, relentless mockery from supposed friends and surplus of inadequate social skills makes one hell of a sad little boy.
The sooner you find out who you are the better. You gotta own your shit. You gotta develop upon yourself. You need to talk, but not too much. You need to be funny while not being too vulgar. You need to understand boundaries, how people operate, how to be polite and considerate. You need to be the kind of person that people like being around.
I’m still working on that, which is why I’m still not celebrating my birthday. I have a lot of flaws, but a lack of self-awareness is not one of them. Some cunts don’t know their own position in a social circle. They think they have many friends, when they only have few. They think they’re loved, when they’re hated. They cannot tell the difference between being in a place where they are celebrated and one where they are simply tolerated.
I learned the quality of my social position the hard way. I have friends, but I’m not too certain many of them would show up to a party. So, I’m not having one. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want one. It’s too much work to celebrate yourself.
I’m not gonna lie guys, for a long time I was suffering from spouts of severe depression. Brought about by various reasons but each of them was a real bitch to deal with. I’ve had some bad thoughts. For a while I couldn’t even tell if I was a good person or if I was just an evil piece of shit. I had plenty of suicidal thoughts as well. The only reason I didn’t go through with it was because in the corner of my eye there was the version of myself that I wanted to become. I genuinely believed that if I had the chance, I could live a pretty great life.
I still believe that, but a chance isn’t given to you. You gotta take it.
Often times people will ask if I’m alright cause… my face looks sad, I guess? I can’t control it- I just a sad face and shark lips so when I smile, I look like a goddamn serial rapist (which, is another thing someone said to me…multiple times). At work, several colleagues have stopped me in my tracks to ask me if I was ok. One girl even gave me a five-pound tip on the condition that I “smile for the rest of the night”.
Jesus Christ, does my face look that sad?
Because despite everything I’ve just said, I’m not sad. At least not now. Honestly this is a weird feeling and it freaks me out but…fuck. I feel happy.
Sometimes I’ll be at the flat, sitting on the sofa, thinking to myself “I gotta get up and do the washing up” but I don’t get up. Not because I can’t, but because I won’t. The nagging urge to do work is cancelled out on just the ability to sit perfectly still for minutes on end and stare off into nothing. In those moments, I’m overwhelmed by this feeling of gratitude. I’m so goddamn glad I’m alive.
Because there were so many times throughout my life I could have died. I could have died when I was six and I had my kidney removed. I could have died a dozen odd times climbing around Banagher Dam. I could have died while I was going over the Glenshane to school every day, especially with the ice. I could have died when I walked over that very same mountain range for the first time, while it was snowing. I could have died of hypothermia that time I slept on the streets of Belfast. I could have died of alcohol poisoning, a failed kidney, drug overdose, dehydration, severe exhaustion…I could have died so many times.
I lay in bed sometimes at night and get while sentimental. I’m so goddamn lucky to be alive, in this century, in a time of relative peace, of rapid innovation, of change both good and bad. I’m excited to be living in strange times. Every year I’m gonna get better. I’m gonna do more stuff. I’m gonna make a positive impact on people and I’m gonna try and keep doing that for the remainder of my time here on earth. I’m gonna take what I can, give back when needed. I’m going to live a life worth celebrating.