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Birthday Journal 2009.

by Tony Creech on Friday, December 18, 2009


Dec 16 2009 Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

I always write a journal on my birthday. Usually it’s the sort of reflective drivel I hope everyone writes; full of narcissistic lusting that life was as sweet as we can imagine to be. 
 I can be happy everyday of my life, but my birthday comes and I’m a glum little dude unable to find the daylight through the dark.   As you imagine, I’ve had plenty of ‘great’ birthdays i tried to enjoy. Emotionally, I only watched and interacted on them as through thick prison glass. Some were good though.

This year was different, not unlike last year, which also broke the pattern by failing 3 of my 5 birthday traditions. 

1.Write a song on my birthday.
2.Be on mainland north america
3.Write my Journal in pencil in a notebook and never share it.
4.See below.

I woke up this morning …or rather, didn’t sleep last night, and asked myself what I asked myself three or four days ago: Will I be sad on my birthday?

You – “what a sad stupid strange question to ask yourself…” 

Me-  Either way you look at it, your birthday comes and you finally consider if you actually like your life. A lot of people don’t. 
I totally dig my life, but I guess I’m always wanting more (pretend you didn’t hear that).

I thought about whether I’d be happy, like last year, or not.  The thinking of it got me thinking.

It’s really my choice.

I can set down daft feelings of being ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘wishing my life was different than it is’, and decide to NOT get all sad. That means no “God, I’m why am I still waiting for you to do ‘this’ or ‘that’.. Still waiting waiting sad waiting, where is it?!!!”.  It means no phrases that start with “I wish….”  

It’s tempting to use my crazy imagination to fantasize that I was Emperor of the Free World or some sort of miraculous end-of-days prophet that billions recognized as a great holy man.  I kind of love role-play and putting myself in other peoples shoes, and that can be a place to run, when I have things to deal with I don’t want to deal with. Stress enters, I leave. 

But last November I pressed a huge button I found hanging over my life. It was there all along and I guess the thing terrified me and to be honest the last thing I wanted to do was hit that button.  It was painted black in nail polish and so it looked like sticky death to me. Maybe.

If my outer world was like a tornado ripping apart towns and farmland, my inner-world was a Hurricane, sweeping up not only cows and farm hands that took too long to find cover, but oceans and cities. 
 I drove from Moose Jaw to LA and hit ‘RESET’ on my life.

I was done. Done complaining. Done dreaming. Done fighting. Done hiding. Done worrying about myself, done worrying about everyone else.

But you know this, no?

Well last year I went Jim Carey and enjoyed saying yes to happiness and fun in a Hawaiian winter with my baby bro (Willy the wise) visiting our mama.  I won’t tell you what I did, that one’s for me. It was a best-ist birthday.  But that reset button must have had more nail polish than I thought, because It took a bit of work to press it in all the way.

I spent most of this past year all alone, hermiting in the caves of california, complete with wifii.  I really needed it.  I loved it.  Imagine a living without a hurricane going on in your head and your heart. Thats how good it was, like a buddhist in tibet in some flick that makes our western lives look ridiculously busier than they ever should be.

The start of my RESET was that there was a lot of stuff I was doing to myself in my own choices that I had been blaming on God, Fate, and Others.

I had Jonny Rempel’s mom called me today and her and little koreans sang me happy birthday in korean. The funny part about that is that I am in korea, and they are in in Strathmore, Alberta.  I love life. Talking to my Jonathon was rich, guys like me and King David need them, maybe that’s why I have so many.

I decided that if God has given me  a choice in how I would feel about today, then my choice would be that it was be an awesome king-day without a gloomy moment.

I get taken out to dinner tonight by John and Ferial. They’ve taken me to many exquisite and superb restaurants. Right now though, I only feel like running off to McDonald’s… I have few hours till they get off work… Plenty of time to google McDonald’s and go on another Korean Birthday Adventure…

I’ve already been on a few today.  One involved me wandering out of the city into a village to meet up with a massive FIRE.  I think they thought I started it, because I’m white  (note: this was a “no-iPod” walk, quite different than the standard iPod walk).

I need to go and see how well I’ve learned how to read Korean, it is my birthday after all and I’m not going to spend it typing to you all day on the computer, I don’t care who you are.

Closing thought from, Kurt Cobain  that popped up on my gmail this morning: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”.   To prove how insensitive I can be, I’ll admit that when I read that, I didn’t go “awww”, I went “isn’t killing yourself with a shotgun also a waste of the person you are?” 
I guess it shows I have a ways to go yet.

But thats enough about me.
Tony Creech
anthony thomas creech is Founder of Citadel Magazine. He's a marketing executive, filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, and university lecturer on film, audio, media, and faith. You can find him at thecreechleague.com

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