I don’t remember my twentieth birthday, and that’s not me trying to be funny and imply I had a wild birthday party. I most probably didn’t have a party at all.
It was a Tuesday, so I probably took the subway to the university, had a few classes before taking the subway back to my tiny apartment. In the afternoon, I’d guess I drove my Nissan Sunny to hockey practice and home, and then watched the Invisible Man on Sky Channel – and waited for Monsters of Rock to begin at 1am.
A good day, in other words.
That was the first semester at the university that I didn’t have a roommate, which was, frankly, a great relief. My roommate was a nice guy and caused no trouble at all but the apartment – an old hotel room – was truly tiny for two people.
That might have also been the year Mom and Dad sent me a birthday present on a bus, so I must’ve picked that up.
And since the present was a new (used) stereo system, I probably rocked out in that tiny apartment, listened to the new Bryan Adams record, one of the few ones I had on CD. Or Europe’s Final Countdown, that I had bought on a cassette tape because I had wanted to listen to it on my Walkman right away on my way to the train back to Mom and Dad that fall.
Since our apartment building was an old hotel converted into a dorm, I probably have just had my door open and some of the guys form across the hall came in and out and high-fived the Top Gun poster I had on my wall. (On second thought, we didn’t high-five back then, so maybe just finger guns).
Did I reflect on my twenty years on Earth? I doubt it. And I definitely didn’t think where I’d be twenty years later. Like I said, there was the stereo to be installed and The Invisible Man was on. There was no time for reflection.
But had I reflected on my life, I wouldn’t have imagined that less than twenty years later, I would move to another country but not because my work as a high-flying hockey player agent required it. Or most, if not all, of the things that have happened since that birthday. I didn’t have much of a plan. Things just worked out.
I have done some reflecting today, though, since it’s Son’s twentieth birthday and I’ve been trying to come up with some words of wisdom. But I haven’t come up with anything.
Well, maybe this: The music you listen to, and the movies you watch today will stay with you forever.
So remember: You’re not going to be happy unless you’re going Mach-2 with your hair on fire and you know it.