Taylor’s Take: The big 3-4
Published 2:30 pm Friday, February 3, 2023
Somewhere between the premature existential crisis of 30 and the full-blown panic of 40 lies 34. An age with no special meaning. One that generally doesn’t even warrant a special celebration.
And yet, for those born in 1989, it’s the age they will be stuck with for the next trip around the sun.
Come midnight – or 3:58 p.m. depending on your stance of when a birthday starts – on Saturday, I’ll be one of the lucky million that turn the big 3-4 this year.
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Honestly, my initial feelings are I don’t dread or look forward to it; it feels like another day. Just like how 34 is just another number.
But it is my birthday, and in the name of self-importance, I wanted to know what is so special about 34 and February 4, 1989.
So off on an internet treasure hunt, I went.
I started with the basics.
According to Wikipedia, “34 is the ninth distinct semiprime and has four divisors including one and itself. Its neighbors, 33 and 35, also are distinct semiprimes, having four divisors each, and 34 is the smallest number to be surrounded by numbers with the same number of divisors as it has.”
Math was the bane of my grade-school existence, and I don’t profess to know much beyond introductory algebra. So thanks, but no thanks for the confusing definition Wikipedia; it didn’t help.
I thought that numerology, the mystic study of numbers, letters and patterns, might shed some light.
The folks from affinitynumerology.com write,” “Introspection is the prominent resonance of the number 34. It’s also creative and highly intelligent. Its interests reside in both science and spirituality. In addition to creative approaches, 34 incorporates pragmatism for reaching goals.”
Now I was getting somewhere. I’m an introspective person – well, more of an overthinker – but I still count that. I’ve got a creative streak, as most professional writers do, and my family always says I’m a smart mouth – it counts – so maybe I was getting somewhere. Perhaps 34 describes me to down to my atomic level?
Then again, science bores me to tears, and I’m not a religious or spiritual person at all.
Can a number even define a person? Especially when it does not take any of their personal essence into account.
The numerology folks gave me an interesting definition, but that’s it.
With that a bust, I searched to find out if anything significant happened the day I was born.
And the results were not promising.
Jethro Burns and Trevor Lucas died on that day.
An American country singer and an Australian folk singer I’d never heard of.
So 34 and good old 2/4/89 don’t hold a special significance as I initially thought.
Does that depress me? No. Does it vindicate my malaise? Not quite.
The fact is 34 and February 4 are my reality and my past.
Over the past 34 years, I’ve loved, lost, and led a decent life. I’ve made excellent friends and found a career that fulfills me.
Every year for my birthday, my mom wants to go all out to celebrate, and my dad defends my decision for a low-key gathering.
People think I’m worth celebrating and respect who I am as a person.
My take is that’s what makes every year and every birthday special.
Cheers to another 34.
When he isn’t the birthday boy, Warren Taylor is the associate editor of the Winchester Sun, Jessamine Journal, and Harlan Enterprise.