Moments like this remind me that I am not as special as I'd sometimes like to think I am. You see, this Saturday I am turning 40 and I am feeling a little strange about it.
I remember when my parents turned forty, or should I say I remember thinking that they were really old. As a kid it seemed that there were a million different shows in which the person turning 40 flipped out because they were suddenly middle aged.
And now here I am feeling out of sorts because of a silly birthday. I don't feel particularly old. There are days when I look at my family and wonder how they got here. I can't really be old enough for this to be married, have kids and a mortgage. Is this really me.
Fifteen years ago I was 25. I was single and had my own apartment. I remember lying on a raft in the pool and feeling like I had eternity ahead of me. I wasn't crazy about my job. It barely paid enough to cover my expenses, but I had time. I knew that if I wanted to I could give notice and walk off into the sunset.
I didn't have any responsibilities, at least nothing like today. There were no sleepless nights trying to figure out how to pay the bills. Back in those days sleepless nights were because I was out with the boys or the girlfriend was staying over.
If you are curious, I did appreciate it. I knew that wouldn't last forever, but I never quite understood how radically it would all change. It wasn't just because I was naive about some things. Some of it was because there are some things you can't really understand/appreciate until you experience them.
And now I look around me and stare out at the future and my vision is a bit clouded. Instead of looking back 15 years I am looking forward 15 and I see a 55 year-old man. That is pretty wild to me. Fifteen years from now the kids will be my kids, but they'll big.
Fifteen years from now the dark haired beauty is going to be 20 and her brother will be 24. Oy.
Well I am not going to waste a lot of time worrying about that. I learned a long time ago that it is hard to predict what things will be like in five years, so it is virtually pointless to stress out about that.
But I'd be lying if I said that I don't feel the pressure of time. I don't have the same ability to just reinvent myself as I did in the past. That is not necessarily a bad thing, it just feels a bit strange.
I suppose that you could compare this to the first few moments of stepping into the ocean on a really hot day. It takes time to become accustomed to the water. Although, I usually try to just dunk myself and get it over with.
So here I sit in front of the computer, the boy that I used to be still looks out from my eyes. He may not always be there, but I see glimpses of him. Maybe it is the boy that is nervous about this or maybe it is the man.
But overall I can say that I am not completely flipped out. I have two grandparent, pooey, pooey. They are both 95. That has to mean that I won't be middle aged for a while now.