As I sit here on this Saturday night (around 10:40), lounging about in my Kingdom Hearts shirt and my addias shorts, I can't help but let my mind wander. You know where's it's wandering?
Why, to tomorrow, of course. Specifically, what tomorrow may bring. Tomorrow is church, which starts at 8:30 in the morning. This will be week four of me attending this church and it's strange; it's a new church, one that has many similarities to my old one and yet has it's differences.
I'm not so much worried about church as to what it all means... down the line. It's late, I'm tired, and my mind is projecting far down the line. I'm now going to ramble.
My mind is wandering to tomorrow tonight and is wandering many tomorrows down the way.
I'm nearly 24. I will be 24 come October 13th. After that, I start on my merry way to "just turned" 24 and then a few months later I'll be a solid "24, going on 25 in October." Age is just a number and this belief has been ingrained in me from my father who, despite being 52, has the a zest for life like someone my age.
But then what I believe and I observe are two different things. Something happens to guys after a certain age... usually in the 40s. Something just... happens. I don't know what and I don't know how it happens, but it's happened to my father and it's happened to other guys I know who are or have passed that age. After a certain point though it just seems like, for guys, once you hit those 40s... life becomes regulated. It becomes routine. It becomes... rigid.
My father, bless him, has been doing the same routine for many years now. It's a routine that serves him well, as far as varied activities go, but he just seems so set in his ways and doesn't want to really shake things up. I can understand, in part, not wanting to mess with a good thing... but even a good thing needs to be shaken up sometimes.
This observation carries on to other older fellows too... it's like after they hit that point in their 40s (usually 46, sometimes earlier, sometimes later) things just become... routine. Rigid. Set.
Here I am at 23, nearly 24, and I find myself increasingly under the belief that I wasted my best years (because after 25 it's all downhill from there... that's what I've been told anyway) and I'm way, way behind where I need to be in a number of areas (pretty much everywhere).
And I'm afraid of 46. I doubt I'll ever make it there as my prevailing theory, since I was around ten, is that by the time I'm 30 one of three things will happen: either I will be dead, locked up in an insane asylum, or married. Out of those options, married is the one I'd like most and behind that would be being dead (I don't have a death wish, it's just that being dead is far more preferable than being locked up in a funny farm for decades on end).
But assuming I do make it to 46... what exactly will I have to show for myself then? Will I be in contact with the same people I am today? Will I still go to church? What car will I drive (mine is 18 years old now, it won't make it another 22 years)? Will I be married? Have kids? Will I be able to support a family? Will I have a job?
All questions I can't answer. I can't even guess on because I have no indicators in the now.
I keep telling myself that it's just one step at a time... one day at a time... and you do with it the best you can and then you move on to the next day. I tell myself this and yet, I find, that the days don't add up to much of anything. Shouldn't they add up to something? Isn't that the meaning of living a life is that one day can add up with another to make something more?
And yet... I find that the days are kinda blurred together for me. They add up to something but to what, I can't tell. What's the solution? I don't know the equation.
As I observe this in myself I equally observe the fact that, yes, things are becoming too routine for me. Things look too 46 for me... but my routine, as it is, has a limited lifespan. It will change for I'm not in a position to preserve it. Time won't let me... at this point in my life things change often. Things will continue to change often.
I don't so much mind this as I do not knowing what things are changing into. I kinda wish I had a Pokedex for life that way I could know exactly what things will change into based on certain criteria being met. In truth, I suppose, this would make life too easy. Not knowing is half the adventure. The other half is figuring out how-if possible-you adapt to the changes.
Which brings me back to church (how? I don't know). Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt to change something... to affect a variable that is young and hasn't been set in stone yet. Remember, this is only week four of me in this church, I'm still a somewhat mysterious figure, I still have a potential to be more or less... things are fluid.
This fluidity is new. I'm not used to it because, before, I would always just carry on the previous iteration of me into a new place and touch it up a bit. The previous iteration of me in this case is gone... in it's place is this new and very much confused me.
But tomorrow I'm going to attempt to change a variable, to test myself and this new me.
I'm going to try and avoid a premature 46. I don't have enough life, enough experience, enough of anything to be a premature 46. I joke, sometimes, that I'm pretty much retired but the truth is that I'm pretty much retired-seriously, the time I have at my disposal is insane. Yet, I feel, this time is often... not misused but certainly not maxed out as far as potential. It's merely... there. It's used for purposes unrelated to me and for that it is redemptive, in a small way, but certainly it's not used to enhance my own position... part of me feels that would be horribly selfish and part of me feels like I'm wasting away this time being unselfish...
It's a mess, really.
But I don't want to settle into a routine... I don't want to find myself rigid and unwilling to shake things up. This past Friday I shook things up for myself and spent the day doing... fun things. I ran, I read, I caught a movie, and I browsed some stores. I did these things and enjoyed myself; that was nice for a Friday because, usually, I let my cheap side dictate I go no where, do nothing, and spend my evenings watching movies or writing (like I'm freakin retired).
I'm not an old seamstress, blast it, I'm nearly 24.
I feel like I'm behind in life... like I'm the new kid who shows up to class a few weeks late and has to catch up to all the things he's missed while trying to pay attention to all the new things he has to learn. The past is the past, yes, but it still has a bearing on the present and on the future. This, in my mind, is a fact. It cannot be changed or distorted, it is a fact.
So, with that fact in mind, I'm going to try and not let my past influence me tomorrow; I will let it serve as an example of what not to do but I certainly won't let it make me think that I'm incapable of change.
I can change.
I have proven this over the last year. I'm a different person in some ways and the same in others, but I have taught myself to do things I thought were never within my grasp. I can change... so if I can change than it stands to reason that I have it in me to ignore my past (or at least minimize it's impact) and plow boldly on.
Or shall I say blindly on. It makes more sense that way, doesn't it?
Back on point... tomorrow is church. I'm a bit concerned with the variable I'm going to attempt to change... I'm worried over what I should wear (Hawaiian shirt? No... yes... no... maybe... no), and I'm worried I could royally ruin this thing.
Worse yet, I could chicken out and not do anything different: merely accept the situation at hand.
But I'm tired of sitting on my hands and watching the situations before me develop without any input from me. I'm a patient person but I certainly don't have the time to be that patient.
So, I shall try.
Ultimately, tis better to do that than nothing. At least failure means you made an effort.