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The Problem with Birthdays and Other Events (From an Autistic Standpoint)

Updated: Feb 17

A lightning candle.

(2023 Note: Now that I compared myself to other autists, I've realized I have Asperger's Syndrome, which can be considered part of ASD, or the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I, however, am no longer sure if I am indeed an autist, even though I was diagnosed. Please, take this article with a grain of salt, as I expect you to do, with any of my articles).

I have always found birthdays and other celebrated events to be problematic. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Why celebrate when you could be doing something else, such as something more productive?

  2. Why celebrate when the event in question isn't that important?

  3. Why celebrate when you are already happy and have other pleasures?

I can understand the reasoning behind celebrating birthdays, at least. It will be my 25th birthday on December 7th. Why not celebrate the fact that I was born exactly X number of years ago? Celebrating a birthday is also a way to express joy over the fact that someone was born!

However, beyond this reasoning, I don't really understand why I should do something like raise a toast or go out to eat at a diner when I could just resume my life as usual. I mean, I already know that I will get older, so why does it matter whether I celebrate my birthday or not? If I could do something like listen to a documentary, then why should my birthday get in the way of that?

Of course, many of you may find my priorities strange, but keep in mind that I am autistic. As far as I can remember from what I've read, people with autism are very strict when it comes to timing and order.

And for me at least, the so-called unusual event that is my birthday, comes and ruins my regular planning, unless I am to see it as just another day in my monotonous life.

(And for those who may doubt my autism, remember that I was diagnosed, and as a result, earn from social security).

I enjoyed birthdays a lot as a younger person. I enjoyed the attention, the feeling of importance, and so on. However, nowadays, such values are but tools to me, all to serve this very site that you're reading.

Therefore, if there's something that is more important, at least in my eyes, is not myself but my site. The 8th of April is far more important to me than my upcoming birthday, you see. I do not see why, in comparison, it is I who should be more important, or as important, than something I plan to be my life's work.

And even when the 8th of April arrives, and the site becomes older itself, I don't really see why I "must" celebrate it. I already know when the date reaches, and I already know what it means. Where is the necessity of celebration in all of this? So what if I'll have fun? Fun is no longer that important to me anymore. I merely use fun to spend the time whenever I don't have anything else to do.

And you know what? The same can be applied to any event where celebration is expected. I suffered a lot when we celebrated our graduation from high school. I just wanted to take the diploma and leave (Someone also screamed at my ear accidentally). You might find it funny, but I could put the same logic on weddings.

Of course, weddings are there to symbolize the marriage, or the "alliance", between one partner to another. It's fine! Why not move on, then? It can save one both time and money, over celebrating something that is already known and given.

I have attended weddings before. If I ever get married, I will try to remove the unnecessary celebration. I would just turn it into a sort of a "business meeting," and after some food and drink, carry on with my new wife (just a hypothesis, yes?).

Do I expect you to agree with me? Of course not. Hence the wonder of philosophizing. I can't know what will happen whenever I click on the "Publish" button, but it doesn't stop me from pressing it, nonetheless.

I am at least glad that my birthday has inspired me to actually write something new. With this out of the way, I thank you for reading, as I don't wish to risk exhaustion by writing more for now.

An afterthought written in 2023: I prefer to celebrate much more, whenever I succeed, and not due to an event. When I manage to do something I struggle with, only then I find reason to be glad. I may use more coffee than regular, to celebrate such achievements. I don't need to celebrate just because of events, because these events will come anyways. I want to earn my victory.

And especially... victory over her.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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