and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered? — Groundhog Day
It’s that time of year again for the annual birthday introspection. Last year I turned 30, which led to my completely fabricated “Big Round Number” theory. This year I turn 31, which as a friend pointed out to me, means that I’m “in my prime” in the mathematical sense.
As I hope everyone knows by now, a prime number is “a natural number which has exactly two distinct natural number divisors: 1 and itself.” There’s something pure about a prime number, a number distinct such that it stands alone. It’s identity is not determined by other numbers, but rather a prime number exists only in relationship to itself and the core identity of 1.
I started ruminating about ideas of identity: what makes us who we are, and how we define ourselves etc. Ironically, today’s summer addition to Hulu.com was the 1993 classic Groundhog Day which deals with identity defined by knowledge and actions, such as the identities we form through sheer mindless repetition and predictability.
This past year for me was anything but predictable. It was only March when I was still working at a cushy stable job at JPMorgan Chase with a nice apartment and simple routine. Since then I got laid off, wrote three master’s theses before passing, found out I needed to move, and we’re not even close to being done with more big changes coming (details to follow shortly). In general, there does seem to be a sense for me this year of forcing myself to break some patterns, accepting new challenges, and being in a position where I’m forced to be more independent and proactive in determining how the next year will progress.
For now I will simply thank everyone for the multitude of warm birthday wishes1 and I look forward to sharing what promises to be an exciting year with everyone.
1. Thank you Facebook