Man of a Certain Age
I came to a realization this evening that I don’t know how to grow older.
I know there is that people say that everyone still feels young at heart and no one really feels their age, but I also know this is bullshit. I’m still in my thirties and already the aches last longer, my eyes look more tired, I don’t bounce back from being sick as well, and let’s not even talk about what happens if I don’t get eight hours of sleep. The aging process is certainly felt.
No one really talks about this. It’s not like my father sat me down and said, “Son, when you enter your forties, it’s going to feel like this” or “you should concentrate on this, because it’s harder to do in your forties.” You just wake up one day, realize you reaching that age that when you were younger, you decided what “old.” Then you stumble through this next decade and try not to fuck things up too much.
One of the things that I do way too often is look back fondly on my earlier twenties. I let the nostalgia run wild and I consume the media (books and movies) from that time period during high school or right after high school, when I was still hopeful and optimistic. The movies tended to be a bit stupider and more fun, so I take ninety minutes to take me back to that simpler time and then I start thinking about how I can make changes in my own life to bring back those feelings. I’ll convince myself that ditching my smartphone is a good idea, and it’s time to dust off the mp3 player. Hell, I even bought an mp3 player maybe two years ago for this exact purpose and I’ve used it maybe twice.
If I was honest with myself, I’d remember the bad times that were going on then. The bad relationship I was in, my father’s alcoholism, and the suicidial thoughts. The time when my self-esteem was so bad, I really do not know how I made it through all of that.
There’s peace in the past, or the sanitized version of the past we sell ourselves. I live there way too much at times and I realize this needs to change. Actually, a lot needs to change and I’m hoping over the next few posts I can explore some of the thoughts about getting older and letting go of the past and the things that do not matter anymore.