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April 27, 2016

Thirty Four

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 12:47 pm

Here is what 34 feels like: It feels like finally knowing what you want after all this time, and like realizing in the same moment that it’s too late. That if you’d been this sure fifteen years ago, or ten, or even five, you could’ve gotten started and by now you’d really be somewhere…but instead you’re nowhere, really, or at least not anywhere close.

This doesn’t feel like losing hope — you know you’ve made impossible things happen before — but like working out a new calculus for how many eggs go in the impossible basket. How many eggs get eaten now. How many get planted in the ground. It’s the discovery that giving up on a dream is not like letting go of a colorful balloon; rather, it’s looking for a long time at your reflection in a quiet pond and slowly, slowly starting to notice that the image you see is a mirage.

It does not come with regret. Not yet. Regret is still a stranger to me at 34, the ghost of bad decisions, hanging raggedy and grey around the truly middle-aged. I have made no decisions. I am lingering here on the doorstep of my own life, of the long-promised and threatened Real World, thought to be a myth, definitely smaller than it looks in the brochure, held together by spit and baling wire. I am wondering if I can find a spot that gets a little sun.

I noticed a few grey hairs for the first time today. I kind of like the way they look, silver-white against the copper shine. “I’m giving myself six more months to freak out about being old and then I’m going to be over it, settled, and working on something I care about,” says the reflection in the pond, “Really.” Here’s what 34 feels like. It feels like having an inkling that life is very small and that maybe this is not a tragedy.


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