Growing old is one of the most inevitable experiences we have on Earth. If you don’t get sniped by mother nature, you’re bound to live to an older age.
But it seems to go in phases, and who the hell knows (well, I guess anyone older than me!) how many more phases I get to experience still. The phases, however, are incredibly interesting – mind blowing when you first experience them and actually realize them. They can be incredible, and change who you are, or who you want to be, or who you’re trying to be.
Do you remember when you first realized other people were actually people? When you could first empathize, and realize that once people weren’t in your immediate view, they were existing somewhere else? This was the first advancement of us as social creatures. Finally (as babies) we are able to think and say to ourselves Mommy and Daddy are actually like me?
Do you remember your first realization that other kids have feelings, and that they are probably just like you? That the other kids on the playground are actually all going home to THEIR mom and dad at night, having conversations, eating dinner, and watching TV?
How about the realization that you’re going to get older. Those 8th graders are huge! They are so tall, and one day I’m going to be like that… Nah. Then you get to 7th grade and you feel like a brick hit you, 8th graders aren’t that big anymore. Then you look back at all the 5th graders and empathize, acting like you’re this huge macho, got-everything-right kinda person. But it dawns on you that you will, eventually, become some age, any age, granted you dodge those drunk drivers and watch your liquor consumption at 21.
But how about the day when you finally realize that your parents were actually young, just like you. That they had problems and insecurities, and had more questions than answers? Maybe when you finally got your car you were driving around, thinking about that old box of Dad’s high school memorabilia and how he had some trophy and goofy pictures. It dawned on you that you ARE your dad, or you ARE your mom. That you’re basically reliving their lives, in a different place, a different time, with all these other little mom & dad offspring around.
Its about this time that you realize, too, that your parents are old. That they dream of being your age, and that you can’t give them that. If you could, you definitely would, but like all beings, we must go in one direction with the arrow of time.
The realization that you are going to be your parents, and the future is coming too soon. You resist, thinking no – I have so much more time left! I won’t be like them. I can’t be like them! (Or maybe you’re parents are those perfect people that you dream to be).
ITs like a pre-mid life crisis. The realization that you are going to HAVE a mid-life crisis, and your parents already went through it.
So here I am, now, seeing that every old man was once a punk teenager, a fibbling toddler, a depressed 30-something, a lonely 40-something. Every old lady was someones daughter, someone’s love interest, someone just trying to make it and fit in.
Pretty soon the entire world becomes this clambering of people, trying to be somewhere in time – admiring the past, dreading or fantasizing about the future. The bars, the clubs, the schools, the office – everyone seems to be thinking of somewhere they’re not.
But the realization comes, that we’re all golden. We’re all this mass of confusion and disbelief, all structured and lifted on the platform of goodness and reason. That we all could be ‘here’ and ‘now’ if we so choose, and that gifting to each other, and receiving is all a beautiful experience.
And experience itself, the fact we are simply here – creating the complexity and dynamic society and life we thrive in. The simple fact that we are confused and lost is justice to the sheer magnitude of existence. Nobody really ‘gets it’ – we’re all totally and completely lost, but its a beautiful recognition when looking from afar. Like the butterfly that seems aimless, yet always makes it to the next flower – or the floating dandelion seed that is carried by another strength – the wind, and cannot possibly steer its future, but continues on anyway, to repeat and renew.
that was a wonderful read, I agree with what you are saying. It’s hard to realize that I am growing into those college kids that I used to see and ask them how college is.
Its hard to grasp that I will transition between stages only to reflect once in a while that I am here. I would definitely like to be continually aware and appreciate the transition of life stages
No idea why I wrote that last night. Just wanted to write something.
This post was a beautiful reading journey. Thanks.
@ijesuschrist, it’s tough. I feel geriatric at 26 going on 27, and frankly it’s starting to drive me insane. I already feel like all of my best days were yesterdays. I know what you’re thinking, “ugh another depressed Ska Fish post” but really. I have just been feeling sooooo old lately. Mostly because I’ve noticed how old my family has gotten. They’re all really old now, it’s a bummer and hard to believe.
“So here I am, now, seeing that every old man was once a punk teenager, a fibbling toddler, a depressed 30-something, a lonely 40-something. Every old lady was someones daughter, someone’s love interest, someone just trying to make it and fit in.”
Yea, I definitely think about that sometimes too.
“Pretty soon the entire world becomes this clambering of people, trying to be somewhere in time – admiring the past, dreading or fantasizing about the future. The bars, the clubs, the schools, the office – everyone seems to be thinking of somewhere they’re not.”
Ugh, this is exactly the kind of person I don’t want to be, exactly the kind of life I want to avoid.
Beautiful post, all in all.
@ijesuschrist, Honestly, I signed up just to reply to this post after reading it.
That was simply beautiful. I have thought about many of those things through out the years as well.
I’m 26 and I can relate to what you say as well @theskafish.
I just recently have stopped drinking, I was just kind of throwing my life away for the last 3 or 4 years but then I got smacked by life and realized sooner rather than later that I need to get my stuff together. I dream of traveling the world and not being one of those people who grow up in a certain city and spend the rest of their lives in that city. Never having seen the world, only through TV.
It all boils down to the word “go”. Just GO. Do it. Start tomorrow like @ijesuschrist said. Take baby steps and before you know it you’ll be half way towards meeting your goals.
But just had to reply, beautiful post man. Thanks for sharing.