Yesterday, as I lounged on the grass in the park during my lunch hour, I came to realize that everyone sitting on the grass looked younger than me. Then I realized why: everyone around me WAS younger than me. Now that I am almost 50, I am statistically older than most folks on the planet. Sitting on the grass seems to be an activity favored by the young. Several of my coworkers around my age can no longer comfortably get their bodies down on the ground, and when I lunch with them, we sit on a bench. By situating myself where I always had, I had unknowingly planted myself in the midst of youth culture. This included couples in bikinis, others in skimpy clothes, couples making out, folks who had gotten high during lunch, and raucous discussions with loud laughter.
As I laid down on the grass and look at the tree blossoms overhead, I realized I had been coming to this park for lunch for about 15 years. The very tree I was gazing at used to be small and I had to crouch to get under it. Now all the trees in the park are very large and beautiful. I don’t remember them getting bigger; it seems like suddenly they were just regular-sized trees. But somewhere in that time, I went from feeling young to not.
It was sometime in the decade of the 40s that my self-perception changed. I *was* young at 40. I could drink several drinks and dance until 2:00 am. I had no flab and had this pair of red pants that stopped fitting at 42 when the “love handles” appeared. Although I don’t weigh much more, my body just has a different shape. I do occasionally still stay up past midnight, but it is a big deal to do so.
The biggest difference isn’t my shape or energy level, but how I don’t see myself as young anymore. It happened gradually, like the trees growing in the park, but suddenly there is me over here and young people over there, and I can’t relate to them. They seem silly and unformed most of the time, being alternately reckless & carefree or steeped in drama.
Life for me has finally leveled out, without the peaks and lows of youth. I think this would have sounded boring to me when I was young, but my life is anything but boring. I have my ups and downs, but in general I seem to get happier as time goes on. A lot of that has to do with K, of course.
This is then my official goodbye to youth, and my invitation to wisdom.
…that someone loves their geo convertible more than me?
If so, this would be he. This person wrote a review of his car for four years straight:
…and has a photo album of all the great places he drove it:
Doesn’t it suck when one of your favorite bands breaks up? Yes, yes it does.
Carrie Brownstein is currently my favorite guitarist, and this is currently my favorite song to hear her play. The sound isn’t great on this clip, but I love it just the same:
It doesn’t get more styley than this!