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Hello, friends! If you were expecting this blog post to be an in-depth review and analysis of the popular Taylor Swift song, I’m sorry to disappoint. Although I do enjoy that song, the reason this week’s Stuff Devon Likes article is called 22 is that it’s doubling as a life update. Today is my 22nd birthday!

That’s right. I can officially say that I’m “feeling 22” and not be lying. Although I’m not doing anything particularly spectacular today, and I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday, I still thought today would be a good opportunity to reflect. And so I’ve decided to write this week’s Stuff Devon Likes post about birthdays. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on the subject, read on.

I’ve never completely understood the big deal about birthdays. I mean, it’s nice to have all these people texting me, writing on my Facebook wall, and sending me cards wishing me a happy birthday, but I don’t totally get it. It doesn’t particularly feel different from any other day. It’s not like I’m completely different today than I was yesterday, when I was a mere 21 years of age. But for some reason, it’s a big deal that today is my birthday.

What is a birthday, anyway? Is it just a celebration of the anniversary of one’s birth? We all know how much people love anniversaries. We even celebrate the anniversaries of horrible atrocities. And I’ve got an app on my phone called Timehop that tells me exactly what I was doing and sharing a year ago today, making everyday the anniversary of something. But I think a birthday is somehow more than that. Sure the date coincides with the date of your birth, but it can’t just be about the anniversary.

Maybe it’s a celebration that you’re getting older. We do have milestone birthdays, after all. When you turn five, you know you’re going to start school soon. Sixteen-year-olds get to drive. When you turn 18, you’re an adult and assumably almost done with high school. Twenty-two is the age that a lot of people are when they finish college nowadays. So maybe, at least up to a certain point, birthdays are used to celebrate the fact that you’re getting older and moving up to a new place in society. But our society also puts a huge emphasis on youth, and a lot of people start to dread birthdays as they get older because it’s a reminder of their aging, so I don’t think that’s completely it, either.

I think ultimately, birthdays are just special days where you take a little extra time to acknowledge people and let them know you’re glad they’re in your life. It’s not that you couldn’t do that on any other day. But birthdays offer a special reminder once a year to connect with someone and say, “Hey, I’m glad you’re here, and I hope you’re doing well.” To me, that’s what makes birthdays so special. It’s a nice reminder of all the people that care about you and are invested in your life. That’s why I love my birthday, and that’s why I love telling people happy birthday on their special days. To remind them that they’re important to me, even if it’s just by saying a few simple words.

So thank you to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday today. You’ve all made it very special. Twenty-one was a great year, but I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me at 22. I know it’s going to be a great one, and I’m excited to share it with each of you. Have a great day, and I’ll see you guys on Tuesday!