Pssssst……..hey. You. Yes, you. I want to tell you a secret.
Life is short. It gets shorter with every passing year. The days when you were a child and minutes passed like molasses, the hours slipping by so infernally slow; when it felt like you would never be grown up and never get to do the things the big people did? Those have long since passed you by. I don’t care whether you’re in your 20s, or your 30s, or if you’ve ticked away 5 decades, like me. At some point, you’re either going to become aware of a clock ticking in the background of your life or a quiet humming.
That’s time. It is passing by. You can’t do anything to slow it down. My question for you is this: What are you going to do about that?
Middle age is strange. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that in my case, I am both tired and very awake. Tired, as in weary in a way that speaks to the senselessness of the events that go on around me, both in my own private life, that of people I know and love, and in the world in general. I am weighted down with the sheer heaviness of my experiences, and some days, my only wish is to throw them off like one would a cloak. I think back to the innocence of youth and my belief that people were good, bad things wouldn’t happen, and life was a wonderful, golden opportunity and gift bestowed upon us and that we all could be as successful as we wanted.
Life is a gift. It’s a gift of chance, given to you by your parents, who chose to have you. From that point, chance plays into it, as well as your choices. You may come from humble beginnings and choose to get out of the desperation of poverty by working hard and succeeding. You may be born into a prosperous family and do just the opposite: squander that gift of privilege. The point is this: you can choose what you do. Most of it is chance, yes. You can’t just wish for good and receive it. Some bad is always going to creep in and disrupt the waters on your journey across the ocean of your life. The water is going to become choppy and the waves will crash into you from time to time, and it is very easy to veer off-course.
Keep swimming. Okay?
The awake part that I referenced? This is the moment when you are fully aware that you most likely have less time left than you have lived so far, and you’re apt to look backward and think, “What the fuck have I done with my life?” and wallow in disappointment. Okay, I will give you a moment to fully engage in how that feels.
There. Now snap the fuck out of it.
That’s right, quit thinking about what might have been, what never was, what hasn’t happened, and what can never be. Don’t wallow in the unknown variables, because they in no way define you. YOU define you. Regret is not in your vocabulary, dammit. You can choose to be fierce and loud and out there, and you can choose to be quiet and docile and gentle. You can combine them and be fiercely quiet and gently out there. See what I mean? Who ARE you? That is the question you need to ask yourself, and the answer should not be something finite and defined by the parameters others like to set for you. It should be fluid and ever-changing and evolving, if you will allow me to use a scientific word. This isn’t at all about God or religion, or the lack thereof: it is about YOU. You are the Sun in your universe. Everything in your life revolves around you, and not vice-versa.
I know; this is not a blog I normally write. I try to engage in sarcasm, satire, and sometimes, the quiet desperation I feel when I am really in my low times of depression. I sometimes choose to meet my challenges head-on and serialize them in such a way that can make you laugh, and make you think. Today is a mystery to me. Shit, who am I kidding? Most days are a mystery to me. But I see sadness, and a sense of discontent in so many others – not only in myself – and so I says to myself, I says, “Self, see what you can do to snap those dumbasses out of it. And while you’re at it, smack yourself, because you’re not getting any younger, either!” I just felt like I needed to take a moment to tap some people on the shoulder and whisper in their ears:
Life is not fucking around, yo. It’s marching, like a soldier into battle. Quit your dicking around and either engage in it and fight for what you want or lower your weapon and find a peace. The choice is yours, but know this: it’s going to keep on keepin’ on whether you like it or not.
You’re in this. And you got this. I know you do. I believe.