Sunday, June 7, 2009

Waking Older

"After thirty a man wakes up sad every morning excepting perhaps five or six until the day of his death." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't know when it happened. Really, I think it started before thirty, but once I hit thirty, there was only looking back. I became older. Yeah, I still like loud music. Yeah, I take chances and have fun and generally live up my life. But there's a depressing feature of my life now. I realize I'm going to die. I'm scared of the day my family members will die. My close friends, too. I feel it now, and I used to just know it. This fear doesn't transfer to full-out depression or real waking sadness, but it is a weight that sits on me from the moment I wake up. We only have so much time in this world...

Before thirty, the world is all ahead. Life is the future, and youth still grips us in all our uncertainties. It's not like there isn't uncertainty after thirty, but it takes a shift, and it starts to feel more like anxiety, like everything should be figured out and is not. Responsibility fights (and usually wins) over the once prevalent reckless abandon of youth. Experience adds cynicism towards those less experienced. And then the light bulb goes on. I'm looking back. I'm no longer idealistic and carefree. I've moved on.

All things considered, it's really not so bad. It's just that I realize all of our days are numbered...that we have to make the most of things. And in my laziness, I don't really make the most of anything. But I think I make more of my life now that the weight of age wakes with me every day. It makes me try least a little. At least I hope.

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