Woman realizes she’s a year older than she thought: ‘I’ve lost a whole year’

A woman realized birthdays don’t actually work the way she thought they did. 

TikToker @emmaflicc_ came to the striking realization that turning 29 actually means your 20s are over and not that you have a year left. That’s because each birthday in the West represents the completion of the year rather than the beginning. 

“I’m turning 29 next year. It’s the last year of my 20s,” she said. “Your first birthday is when you’ve completed that year. Your birthday is like a congratulations for all the work you’ve just done, the last 365 days, right?”  

But after doing the math, she realized what her 29th birthday actually meant. 

“So I’m turning 29 next month, which means I’ve actually completed the 29th year of my life,” she explained. “So on my birthday, I’m actually starting my 30th year of life. Now, I’ve just lost a whole year because I haven’t caught that this year is actually the last year of my 20s. The next year is actually the first year of my 30s.”

“When I learned this fact, I completely chose to ignore it,” a user commented

“I’m 30 next month and thought my existential crisis was over. Nope,” another wrote

“In Poland, we say you ‘finish’ your X amount birthday instead of saying we’re ‘turning’ X amount,” someone explained

The approach to counting birthdays is not universal. In some East Asian countries like China, people are considered one year old at birth and a year older after the Chinese New Year instead of their birthday. Then, there are war-torn nations where many people don’t know their birthdays at all. Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, for example, many Afghans celebrate their birthday on Jan. 1 because they don’t know when it actually is. 

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