I am childless. I am unmarried. At least one of these is by choice, and neither of them is a surprise to me. Yes, that is an I told you so to all the folks over the years who insisted I'd change my mind when I got older, or said "there's someone out there for everyone." Not out of spite, but out of the observation that I have always known my own mind about certain things, and how people react to it. (Not being interested in the former certainly informs the latter, for example.)
I've changed my mind about a lot of things, over the years. Coffee. Living in Seattle. The suitability of squash as a foodstuff. I've always tried to remain open to argument, at least after reaching a certain point of maturity. But if an issue never arises, I can remain as certain as I am of anything that I am perceiving the nature of the situation reasonably clearly.
I'm not the sort of person people offer to marry. I'm prickly, and damaged, and far too fond of cats. Marriage is yet another social contract that will likely remain a mystery to me, like mortgages and the transfer of car titles. (For fairness sake I'll add that based on the evidence I'm also not the sort of person from whom people accept offers of marriage. Thankfully, in 20/20 hindsight.)
I'm happy in my friends, and count myself very lucky and grateful. If circumstances change I'll be surprised, but I'm always willing to be so.
So there it is. This year's birthday thoughts, as they've presented themselves:
I'm still me, guys, I'm still me. Outlier, observer, obstinate. Obsidian.