Inspiring Tidbits, Sweet Nothings

Creative Births

Birthday candles on a chocolate cake topped with whipped cream, courtesy of Flickr

I was born several eons ago today, back in a strange time when “Billie Jean” was just a glimmer in Michael Jackson’s eye and you could still rent movies on Betamax. In this mythical era, birthdays were an incredibly exciting affair – you pinned tails on donkeys, shook wrapped gifts next to your ear, and wore pointy paper hats like they were going out of style. For adults in a society that values youth, however, birthdays tend to morph into occasions that are all about concealing an unspeakable number and downing whiskey shots until you even forget how to count up to that number. I fed into this culture of youth more than anyone throughout my teens and early twenties, but somewhere along the way I realized my life was actually getting better instead of worse with every passing birthday…Every additional year I spent in the world brought more amazing friends, more self confidence and more knowledge of what it meant to be true to myself, and I now can’t imagine trading these things for the most high-octane youth serum or suped-up time machine.

Yet another thing that each year brings is an opportunity to enrich our creative endeavors with our newly acquired wisdom, so, as I round the corner of yet another chronological milestone today, I’m going to take a moment to write down a list of my most significant experiences and life lessons from the past year. It could be quite useful to think about how these positive side effects of aging can inform my current rewriting projects and new story ideas, and I can’t wait to see how my née nuggets of wisdom inspire future creative births. Once I’m done with this list, though, I’m off to eat cake and politely decline any whiskey shots slid my way.

Psst: I found this photo via ThaRainbow on Flickr, and I love the way candlelight glints on the camera lens. I have never captured a picture of my own birthday candles, nevermind one that’s worth sharing, but I suppose that’s because I’m too busy making wishes. If you were blowing out your birthday candles right now, what would you wish for?

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4 Comments

  • Reply Pat Oey December 13, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Happy birthday, Jennifer! I just watched “Sixteen Candles” Friday with my kids–have you seen it? For some reason I love it and I laughed at it even after all these years. I am so proud of you and happy for you. Love you tons.

  • Reply J. R. Coté December 14, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I’m vicariously laughing at “Sixteen Candles” with you right now. I simply love that movie; it is hilarious, relatable and touching all at once.

  • Reply Buffy March 17, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Ahh, betamax. This makes me want to rush home and watch Back to the Future. But on bluray. Of course. 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté March 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I say watch Back to the Future on bluray and blast the soundtrack over a Victrola (while drinking one of those giant milkshakes Mr. McFly would have served in his 1950s diner, of course). Thanks for this idea, Buffy!

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