No one likes to feel like a failure. To admit their struggles and weaknesses. Perhaps we're afraid of judgment or alienation. So to compensate we cover-up the blemishes and polish the harsh details for the highlight reel of our best moments. But in so doing deprive ourselves and others the chance to learn and grow from what we all experience — imperfection.
After we leave this world there remains only our artifacts. The dusty items that filled our lives, now in boxes and shelves. Scratched on paper and wood, the finger print of us. Tucked away and forgotten waiting for someone else to discover and evaluate.
As you age, you will start to feel the squeeze of time. Your own time. And specifically how much of it you have left in this brief life. Truly none of us know if we'll see another day, or another hour, but beyond being frozen in the mire of our inevitable fatality, you go with the averages, do some math, and figure out that you have less life ahead (than more). And you start to ask yourself — is this it, have I achieved all that I am or can be?
And this is how the end begins, a small amount of change at a time. A quiet unraveling. A soft and steady suffocation. And then it's hard to breath. Things come unbound. An empty well that draws no water. You look back as you move forward, and there it all lies, telling the story of now and how you're here and ahead is dark, but you keep moving.
I really wish I could control everything in my life, like some grand story. I wish I could control how others saw me. I wish I could control what happens to me and others. I wish I could stop whatever hurt or pain comes. Grant every wish and desire. Burn every bad decision and stupid word. But if life — through all of time (past and future) — were a wall, our moments are but a small clump of events.
Holidays are ripe with memories, nostalgia, sentimentalism, strife (or contempt), and occassionally calm and relaxation (but I have three kids, so that's merely a situation that other people lie about). As I grow older — and successively see my past fade away into nothingness — I can't help but preoccupy myself with thoughts of what (my life) is and what (my life) will be.
There is never a moment in life where you know who you are. As each moment and decision and reaction and circumstance unfolds and disappears, all we are left with is reflection. Memory. You might know what to do or say, but we only know who once were.
I have a tradition of reflecting upon another year of living with an (now) antiquated "blog" post that's part humor (in my mind), rememberance and heart-felt emotion. The older I get the easier it is to get lost in the could-haves, and memories — so that I don't forget who I am and who I still want to be.
I don't know what "ok" is. Ok is only a thing in comparison to other things. Insurmountable or manageable. It's all about your perspective.
Getting older means reflection. Memories. Eventually you pass that half way point, where you have less life (on average, obviously any of us could die at any time) in front of you than behind you; and you inevitably wonder how useful, purposeful or important of it was. Not just that, but you analyze why you are who you are now, based on your fragmented memory (and in my case, as hazy a frosted window) of the life now long past.
Being older has its advantages. Driving. Staying up late. Watching Rated R movies. Alcohol (the libation created specifically for family gatherings). The ability to say "no". Sadly I believe I've let the disadvantages ruin the joy that still remains in life.
Every time when I draw close to the end of one year and embard on another, I marvel at the unexpected things that unfolded. Throw them all together into a full decade and I'm left wondering what the last 10 years have meant; and what the next 10 years will bring. It's both terrifying and wonderful.
Aging is inevitable. Maturing is not. Some people are older than their age, others sadly younger. As I near 40 I'm starting to realize that I've actually grown up, matured, without being old.
It amazes me how easily we all define another person by how they aren't like us — we identify people by their differences: they're not a woman, they're not a Christian, they're not gay, they're not from California, they're not like us. We all naturally seek those that support our belief system, our culture, our world view because its comfortable and predictable (even if we like to pretend that we don't). It's time we start seeing what makes us simliar.
Every year it seems we learn (and subsequently forget) some important lessons about ourselves, our family or life in general. I thought it might be a good idea to get these lessons in a more permanent format (than in my brain, which is sadly unable to retain much these days).
Today I turn thirty-seven. Big whoop. I'm neither the first nor the last to turn thrity-seven and I feel that I've hardly lived at all. The truth is that I'm middle aged (if you consider the average age of the American male as seventy-four). Half my life is past me and its inevitable to avoid the "what have I done" conjectures.
I expected the nearly 8 year lapse of the pooping, eating, sleeping routine would reek havoc on my aged bones but I find that being older has made a few things easier. Perhaps I'm more organized, or more prepared; I'm tired, but not exhausted.
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in a casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.
I've started, restarted, typed and retyped, I've mulled and pondered all the various things I could or should say to accurately summarize the year that pasted and I'm left finding it hard to find words. Not because its hard to...
So we're leaving on vacation (about time) this weekend, Friday to be exact, and I have quite a bit of work to get done. So what do I do? I create a photo site for myself instead of real,...
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