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I Am…Older

May 18, 2013

I was going to save this post for my 31st birthday (hooray!) but as the topic of encroaching old…er age cropped up in my mind I think I’ll do it now. I think about being 30 and turning 31 in a couple of months and it’s a mix of terror and excitement. I feel terrified of being old. I know that my age isn’t old and I know that I’m not technically old, but it really doesn’t feel too long ago that I was a teenager with my life ahead of me and now I’m this 30 year old person I hardly recognize. I don’t dye my hair interesting colors anymore and I’m not as opposed to having children as I used to be.

I also have these wistful moments of nostalgia where I really wish I could go back and change how I turned out because I never felt ready. I was always late or confused or unsure. I wish I had some of the confidence that I feel now and given that my confidence is very nil, that’s saying a lot from where I used to be. But I could drive because I was more fearless…about things. Not so much with women, but with my life I sort of had some things figured out before they all went to pot. Now…now I have memories and stories to share and no new stories on the horizon for me–that would depress me if I weren’t so certain that eventually my library would be replenished (we’re doing book metaphors tonight, yay!)

I know everyone has these moments of doubt and nostalgia for what could’ve been and what might’ve been if a peg or screw were turned in the right direction. And now I understand what my father goes through every day with wishing he could have it all back. The only difference between us now is that I felt he lived, while not always a great life, a full life. He did the marriage thing and the children thing and the career. Where I can’t even get a date or get my career off the ground. But that’s all cool. I have time. I do feel that the ‘I have time’ thought has been a bane of my existence, though.

Sure, I have time and I can do all of these things, but will I? It’s, ‘There’s always more time,’ but what am I doing at present? I’m sitting at a computer updating a blagh that might or might not be read and drinking coffee while I waste some more time. It feels like a way to continue deluding myself while I age slowly or quickly (depending on your view) while never accomplishing what I set out to do. Thus proving my theory that my mind is an evil, evil place where thoughts and dreams and hopes go to die.

And then there’s the slowly forming gray hairs…

However, there is the excitement at not knowing what’s in store for me. I hope that I eventually do claw my way out of this quasi-funk I’ve put myself in and I can look at myself proudly at my accomplishments rather than just retreading memories until they’re so much dust (car metaphors now, woofwoofwoofwoof!). I don’t want to wake up 50 and think, “Meine got! I have done nothing with meine leben!” Yes, because in my imagination I speak Germglish. I also don’t want to be that guy that has to constantly refer to his past when discussing his present because I hate those people. “Maan…we sure did rock back in the day. What are you doing now?” “I’m a hedge fund manager.” “Bummer. Remember when…?” You get the idea.

I think it’s only natural to fear these things and approach them from what you’ve done in the past, but the difference is in trying to relive your past and just remembering how it was. I don’t know about any of you reading this, but I had a terribly mixed bag of a past so I’m not too eager to relive most of it. I’m under no illusions of time here, so that’s good. I also know that I need to do something other than what I’ve been doing so I have plans and thoughts, so that’s good. Not so good is living in PA where I can’t focus, I miss my friends, and I can’t accomplish the things I want to do.

I realize that all of this may be a futile gesture and my own rage against the dying of the light (mmm…cliche) but I also think the measure of who I am won’t be how much I accomplish with my life, but how content I am with how I’ve lived it and right now I’m far from content, but for now I’ll look for my contentment in the fact that I know I’m working toward that.And if all of this sounds depressing and you want to murder small animals, drop me a line. I’ll see what I can do to keep you from harming small animals–going after bigger game, for one, like a bear or a lion.

Age is a terrifying prospect, but equally terrifying (to me, anyway) is the thought of never growing up and never progressing beyond where I am now.  And that thought is what keeps my own personal terror at bay.

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