I turned 36 on February 4th.
I don’t like my birthday. I never have. I don’t want to get older. I don’t want to age. I’m fat in places that will always be fat. My stomach is this mass of flesh but my legs are skinny. I am that old man. A gut with twigs to support said gut. Yes, of course I know that I could work out and get rid of the “intestinal moon.” We’ve discussed this. The vanity and self-respect that causes a person to go to the gym and sweat and move and lift heavy things are not enough for me to go to the gym. I don’t care enough. When it gets warm, I’ll ride my back in the city again. That’s not working out. That’s terrorizing horrible DC drivers. That’s totally different.
Getting older forces you to evaluate your life and decide if you’ve been doing what you want to have been doing. Am I happy? If I could go back and do it over again, what would I change? Anything? All of it? Some actions? All of the actions? Am I a better person now than I was five years ago? If my younger self saw me, would my younger self like me? These are all great questions that I refuse to ask myself. Regret is great, and it is a nice way to spend a chunk of your time and force depression down on you. It’s also completely pointless. Being ashamed is different. Being embarrassed by your actions is different. But regret is just you and a beer alone at the bar thinking about the girl you should have asked out but didn’t have the stones to ask out. It’s pathetic. Am I embarrassed by some of the things I’ve done? By some of my actions? Sure. Who isn’t? But being embarrassed and ashamed is only useful if you don’t do those embarrassing and shameful things anymore. Have I learned anything? Yes, I have. Would I make the same mistakes if I could go back in time? Yes, I would. I mean, I did stuff and I’m still ok. And, let’s face it. The mistakes are always what’s fun.
There are days, though, when I think about what I haven’t done or don’t have. My life has been a series of course corrections. I’ve been thrown into the air, and I’ve allowed myself to move a bit, angle myself. I’ve never flown, though. I’ve taken the opportunities that have come to me and I’ve taken advantage of situations. I’ve never said, “This is what I will do.” I’ve always said, “This is what I have to do.” Maybe that’s the difference between being a child and being and adult. A child thinks the world caters to his every need. A man understands that the world would consume you if it could and the only actions stopping it are luck, the good will of your fellow man, and your wits. Maybe I have learned a lesson. Maybe I’m finally understanding that it isn’t about what I can take. Maybe it’s about what I can give back?
Dear god. That’s sounds horribly positive and self-reflective.