Honestly, I haven’t had the slightest idea on how to feel about turning thirty. I’ve had so many mixed emotions and conflicted feelings about aging. Though, by the same turn, I’ve felt at peace about a lot more things that will inevitably be inextricable from all of the things I’ve so desperately tried to separate myself from.
For every bit of positive that I seem to see, there is three times the amount of antagonism I receive from it. But, that’s not really what keeps me down. What keeps me down is that I can set my clock to it… there just seems to be a tone of finality to the definition of interaction that I have between myself and other people. It’s quite unnerving to be so entangled in something that is by its own nature uncertain and ever changing. Ironically enough, the only thing I can honestly count on is being uncertain.
But, in such typical fashion, there is the exception to the rule…
As a young(er) man, I always knew certain aspects of how my life were going to progress. The types of relationships I’d have and when… the type of profession I’d enjoy doing or find tedious and life-draining… or perhaps even the way it would all end. To this day, I do not question those aspects due to the daily affirmation that I believe what I’m doing is exactly what I am supposed to be. Not to say that I lack ambition or an ability to set goals… it’s that whatever I’m doing and whomever I am doing these things with isn’t necessarily by choice, but as a chance to move forward constructively.
However, my desire to fully understand the motives and reasoning behind these determinations isn’t as absolute as I thought it was. For the record, I still firmly believe that the conclusions I’ve drawn are how these situations will play out. It’s the space between that has lost some of its clarity. All of the things I thought I wanted are no longer worth the pursuit and the intangible connections that I hold most dear are completely expendable. There was a time when I didn’t want to know why things happened or who I would get to experience, for better or worse, those things with. It wasn’t important… it wasn’t relevant. All I cared about wasn’t if it would happen; rather, when it would.
Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself to be a lot more cynical and unyielding to possibilities that everything that I knew to be true, especially the things that challenged the paradigm in which I’ve carried myself. I feel more certain now that this sense of finality has become absolute and that no amount of change or opportunity could compel me to give a second consideration to them.
Don’t get me wrong, however. Don’t confuse the notion of me believing that what will happen and when is set in stone for the notion of me not caring about it. I do care. Thus, adding to the contradictory mystery which is if that if my life experience has already been written, why aren’t I hellbent on making amends with it?
I’ve accepted that there are some things about me that no amount of soul searching and introspection will never change. I don’t want them to change. Sadly enough, it gives me something to hope for… to look forward to, even. Even if these things are not within what is acceptable by those closest to me. I don’t expect them to understand or even come to grips that there is just nothing they can do about it… which makes it so hard; ironically, to make changes. What it really comes down to is that at the end of the day, there really isn’t much of a reason to change.
I’m reminded of someone that has affected me so greatly that no matter is happening and no matter how bad things are, he always affirms that my reasoning is correct and justified. Matt Hughes, a meteorologist and a principal cast member on the TV show “Storm Chasers,” died shortly after being inside of a tornado. I remember the first time I saw the episode, I couldn’t help but wonder at the end, “How can one who is truly elated be in such a place where life didn’t matter?” By his own admission, it was a dream come true to have been able to do that. So, as a result of seeing such a negative outcome to such a positive experience, I’m left with only one question:
Why does happiness, whether be superficial or deeply felt, matter once the decision is made when it doesn’t have the power to influence change?
To be honest, it’s a question I have such heartfelt misery answering. Not necessarily for my own sake but for those around me. I’m clearly not happy. But, why is their happiness so important? The only conclusion that I’ve been able to draw out of the whole thing is something I’ve already known… I’m not important. My happiness isn’t important. My overall well-being isn’t important when placed next to someone else’s or even a multitude of others. The needs of the many, eh?
The fundamental truth in it all really is the way that I personally value things. I personally don’t value life as in the act of living. I don’t. How long I live doesn’t define my life. I want my life to be over because I’m confident that the sum of my experiences will speak for themselves.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s the space between the beginning and the end for me. Not so much what I’m doing, where that may be, or even who I’m there with… but in whatever those circumstances may be, that I’ve done those things in such a way that only I could. So, in preparedness, I’ve had to come to grips that the door on many things that I had come to desire over the years were no longer part of that preparation. Knowing what I know and being confident in that knowledge, it isn’t for me to allow back into my life.
But, if in the window of time that I have left, I find myself subject to the rigors and torment of the hell that may have been wrought upon me, I can take joy in it. I can come to terms with the situation because in the end, it’s where I chose to be…
And no amount of effort can change the conclusion that is being written because I do believe that my life, as it stood, is over.
And maybe, just maybe… that’s the bridge between my time and my experience here. Maybe, just maybe, that’s enough for all of the doubt, missed opportunities, and regret to depart from what I’ve discovered to hold to be joyful and happy.
Maybe… it really isn’t over.